Three months after Meghan Markle claimed that she was a victim of racism from within the British royal family, Queen Elizabeth has found herself embroiled in a new racism scandal.
Newly-unearthed documents from the U.K.’s National Archive that were obtained by The Guardian reportedly show that Queen Elizabeth’s chief financial manager informed civil servants in 1968 that “it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners” to clerical roles in the royal household. However, minorities were allowed to work there as domestic servants.
The documents went on to show that in the 1970s, palace aides negotiated with government officials to exempt the royal household from laws that banned discriminatory hiring practices on the basis of race and sex.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the practice itself, also declining to say when or why the practice was stopped. Palace officials would only say that records show people from ethnic minority backgrounds were employed in the 1990s, but records on racial backgrounds were not kept before that decade.
“Claims based on a second-hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago should not be used to draw or infer conclusions about modern day events or operations,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told E! News in a statement responding to the report. “The principles of Crown Application and Crown Consent are long established and widely known.”
This comes after Meghan claimed in her March interview with Oprah Winfrey that she was the victim of racism from within the royal family, alleging that there were “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born.” The palace responded by issuing a statement addressing the issue of race, according to People Magazine.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the palace said at the time. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
Prince William defended the royals days later, saying emphatically that “We are not a racist family.”
It was also reported last month that the Queen is considering the appointment of a diversity officer at the palace.
“Certainly the idea of someone to spearhead this work and look at diversity and inclusion across the three households is something that has to be considered,” a source said at the time. “It is too early, however, for any firm plans to be announced. We are listening and learning to get this right.”