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The palace may soon employ someone to “spearhead” diversity and inclusion work, a source tells PEOPLE

By Simon Perry
March 22, 2021 10:22 AM
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Queen Elizabeth is considering making a key appointment to promote greater diversity and inclusion at the palace.

The appointment would be part of an ongoing "listening and learning" program going on inside the Royal Household amid claims of racism within the royal family made by Meghan Markle.

In her interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7, the Duchess of Sussex said there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born."

A royal source tells PEOPLE that while work on diversity has been underway, and started ahead of Meghan and Prince Harry's interview, there is a recognition that "more needs to be done." A diversity official is one proposal being looked into to improve representation.

"Diversity is an issue which has been taken very seriously across the Royal Households," the royal source says. "We have the policies, the procedures and programs in place, but we haven't seen the progress we would like in terms of representation and more needs to be done, we can always improve. The work to do this has been underway for some time now and comes with the full support of the family."

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth
Oprah With Meghan And Harry
Meghan Markle
| Credit: CBS/Youtube

There are lots of measures that are being considered, the source says, adding, "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. It is too early, however, for any firm plans to be announced. We are listening and learning to get this right."

queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth at last year's celebration at Windsor Castle
| Credit: toby melville/Getty

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In the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's interview, the palace responded in a statement that addressed the issue of race.

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," read the statement, which was released on March 9 by Buckingham Palace on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

Oprah With Meghan And Harry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak to Oprah Winfrey
| Credit: CBS/Youtube

"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning," the statement continued. "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."

A few days later, Prince William defended the family against the racist claims, telling a reporter, "We are not a racist family."