In a Channel 4 interview due to air tonight, Sir Ken Olisa, the first black Lord-Lieutenant for London, said he had discussed racism with members of the royal household and that the family are committed to improving things.
He said: “I have discussed with the royal household this whole issue of race, particularly in the last 12 months since the George Floyd incident.
“It’s a hot conversation topic. The question is what more can we do to bind society to remove these barriers. They [the royals] care passionately about making this one nation bound by the same values.”
Asked if the palace support BLM, Sir Ken said: “The answer is easily yes.”
The Black Lives Matter movement rose to prominence after George Floyd was killed by police officer, Derek Chauvin who kneeled on his neck. Videos of the incident sparked mass protests and this year Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for murder.
The Queen is not the only member of the family to have spoken about the movement. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, appeared in a video to graduates from her old Los Angeles school, Immaculate Heart High School in June 2020, and referred to BLM.
She said: “You are going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do because as diverse and vibrant and open-minded as I know that the teachings of the Immaculate Heart are, I know that you know that Black Lives Matter.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a virtual Diana Awards ceremony in July 2020, Prince Harry spoke out about racism, saying: “Institutional racism has no place in our societies, yet it is still endemic.
“Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame to create a better world for all of you.”
It also comes after, in their Oprah Winfrey interview earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said an unnamed royal raised concerns with Harry about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.
The Queen later issued a statement saying that the issues raised would be dealt with privately as a family, but that “some recollections may vary”, while the Duke of Cambridge defended the monarchy, saying “we’re very much not a racist family”.
Buckingham Palace has also admitted it “must do more” and is “not where it would like to be” in terms of diversity, after publishing figures that revealed its proportion of ethnic minority employees stands at 8.5 per cent, with a target of 10 per cent for 2022.