Buckingham Palace has responded to a report that non-white people were barred from clerical jobs with the royal household until at least the late 1960s.
The palace called the report in the Guardian a second-hand account from more than half a century ago.
The paper quoted a civil servant saying in 1968 that, in practice, the Queen’s chief financial manager had a policy of not employing what he called “coloured immigrants or foreigners” as clerks, though they were allowed to work as domestic servants.
The comments were contained in documents The Guardian found in the Britain’s National Archives during investigations into the royal family’s use of Crown Consent laws
The Guardian also reported that the palace received an exemption from discrimination laws.
“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 spokesman for the palace said.
“The principles of Crown Application and Crown Consent are long established and widely known.
“The royal household and the Sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practice.
“This is reflected in the diversity, inclusion and dignity at work policies, procedures and practices within the royal household.
“Any complaints that might be raised under the act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint.”
It is not the first time the royal family has been accused of racism.
The late Prince Philip was accused of making many racist remarks or “gaffes” over the years.
In 2005, The Sun newspaper ran a front-page photo featuring Prince Harry dressed in a German World War II army uniform with a swastika armband under the headline: “Harry the Nazi”.
And during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, said an unnamed member of the royal family had asked the Duke of Sussex “how dark” the skin of their unborn child would be.
Questioned about the interview later, Prince William said: “We’re very much not a racist family.”
In March, the BBC reported that Buckingham Palace was reviewing diversity policies across the royal household and that had begun before the Winfrey interview.