Buckingham Palace has once again missed its diversity target for staff, with the number from ethnic minority backgrounds remaining at 9.7%.

The King’s household had set a goal of 10% for the end of 2022. It has now introduced a new target of 14% of all employees by 2025.

The Prince and Princess of Wales’s household, however, has 16.3% of staff from an ethnic minority background, with the Kensington Palace figure up from 13.6% last year.

Royal visit to the Climate Innovation ForumKing Charles III (Justin Tallis/PA)

In the UK, around 18% of people belong to a black, Asian, mixed or other ethnic group, according to the 2021 Census data.

The percentage of ethnic minority staff in royal households was published for the first time in 2021 in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s accusations of racism against the royal family in their Oprah Winfrey interview.

In November, the royal household faced a a public outcry after Lady Susan Hussey, the late Queen’s lady in waiting, repeatedly asked a black British charity leader where she “really came from” at a Palace reception.

Lady Susan, who quit her role in the household, later met and apologised to Ngozi Fulani, founder of the charity Sistah Space.

Reception to raise awareness of violence against women and girlsThe Queen hosting the a reception at Buckingham Palace, in November (Kin Cheung/PA)

This year’s Sovereign Grant report on royal finances showed that a new Inclusion and Diversity strategy and action plan has been implemented, supported by a specially formed working group, offering education resources and learning programmes.

A Buckingham Palace official said of the diversity figures: “I recognise we are not where we would like to be and we are committed to making progress in this area.

“And hence why we’ve raised the target to 14% having got close to our 10% figure.

“We now need to set out the scale of our ambition to really make headway in this space.”

Buckingham Palace said just over 12% of senior household roles or non-executive directors on the Lord Chamberlain’s Committee were from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Trooping the ColourThe royals on the Palace balcony earlier this month (Yui Mok/PA)

“We’re determined to accelerate progress in this area and as with all organisations, that change starts with leadership,” the spokesman said.

The final diversity figure for last year (2021-22) was 9.7% – with an unaudited figure of 9.6% printed in last year’s Sovereign Grant accounts, and 8.5% reported the previous year.

Meghan, the first mixed race person to marry a senior royal for centuries, said in 2021 that an unnamed royal – not the late Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh – raised concerns with Harry about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

The late Queen issued a statement saying that the issues raised would be dealt with privately as a family, but that “some recollections may vary”.