Britain's royal family has revealed for the first time how many ethnic minority staff it employs, and admitted it has not made enough progress on diversity.
Only 8.5 per cent of royal employees are from ethnic minorities, which make up about 13 per cent of the overall UK population, according to the most recent public census, published in 2011.
The revelation comes three months after claims of racism against the monarchy from Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Prince Harry and his mixed-race wife, Meghan.
The couple, who stepped down from frontline royal duties in March last year, claimed that an unidentified senior royal had asked what colour skin their son, Archie, would have.
The palace disputed the claim, saying "recollections may vary", while Harry's elder brother, Prince William, insisted: "We are very much not a racist family."
A Buckingham Palace source told Britain's PA news agency that publishing the figures left the monarchy with no alternative but to improve accountability.
A target of 10 per cent has been set for 2022.
"We are not where we would like to be," the source said. "It is not that we have not been progressing diversity and inclusion initiatives, it is that the results have not been what we would like.
"We recognise we must do more. One of the key points about publishing statistics is that there's no place to hide."
The royal household reformed its diversity strategy in early 2020 to promote the importance of inclusion.
The Guardian this month reported that the royal household negotiated exemptions from 1970s-era laws against racial and gender discrimination to bar "coloured immigrants or foreigners" and to consider them only for sub-altern roles.
Buckingham Palace denied the claims and says it complies with modern equality legislation.
Queen Elizabeth II leads the Commonwealth, an association of 54 countries with historical ties to Britain forged mainly through imperialism.
Meghan, a US former TV actress now officially titled the Duchess of Sussex, was hailed as a breath of fresh air to stuffy tradition when she married Harry in 2018.
Their wedding, at the historic St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, featured a black evangelical preacher and a gospel choir, raising hopes of a more modern institution.
But the couple in early 2020 announced plans to move to North America and made the racism claims in a high-profile television interview with Oprah Winfrey.
They also said they felt trapped in an inflexible institution and claimed that the royal family offered no assistance with mental health challenges that drove Meghan to the verge of suicide.
Harry said in the interview that his father, heir to the throne Prince Charles, cut him off financially after his move to California in March last year.
A senior representative at Clarence House, Prince Charles's residence, said the prince "allocated a substantial sum to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex" to help them with their move to North America.
Funding continued for several months after "Megxit" in March 2020.
Prince Charles's latest accounts showed Harry, William and their families received £4.5 million ($6.3m) from their father.
The bill then dropped by about £1.2m.
Harry and Meghan have since signed lucrative deals with streaming platforms Netflix and Spotify, among other tie-ups with publishers and motivational speaking.
"I betray no confidence when I say they've been very successful in becoming financially independent," the representative said.