Would diversity and the British royal family mean more Plantagenets?


Queen Elizabeth II unveils a plaque


“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”
– George Orwell

I’m not a royalist but I generally try not to be rude about the British Queen. She will be 95 this month for God’s sakes and it’s not particularly kind to go round metaphorically kicking an old lady.

That said, news that the British royal family may appoint a diversity champion had me wondering what planet the Queen was on.

Did she really believe that anyone would believe a diversity champion would address the problems alluded to by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in that interview?

I mean a diversity champion is hardly likely to tell Prince Charles, “no, no, you can’t be wondering why the new bride isn’t quite up to snuff on shooting weekend etiquette.”

Or to tell the Queen, “It’s not done, Your Majesty, to be so reserved about your grandchildren’s issues. It conveys a sense of being cold and unfeeling, quite unwoke.”

A diversity champion might, however, allow for the hiring of more people of colour to staff the palaces and private offices of members of the royal family. The diversity champion would be able to ensure that any such members of staff would be treated fairly, along the lines set by all big companies.

And Robert Shrimsley in the Financial Times has another rather interesting job for any new diversity champion hired by the Queen.

They could start, he says, by reducing the number of Windsors because “it’s been centuries since we had even the hint of a Plantagenet”.

That said, he writes, “at some point you may have to acknowledge that if diversity, fairness and a society where all are treated equally are really the goals, it is just possible that a centuries-old hereditary monarchy may not be the optimal model”.