Queen's Rep. Who Claimed Her Majesty Supports BLM Under Fire for Bringing Monarch Into Politics
Earlier in the day, Sir Kenneth Olisa, the first Black Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London and a personal representative of the Queen in the capital, told the media that he had discussed racial issues with the royal household and assured that the UK royals do care about them, claiming the answer is "easily yes" in regard to the Palace supporting BLM.
After saying Her Majesty supported Black Lives Matter, royal representative Sir Ken Olisa was chastised for making political statements on behalf of the Queen and her household.
In a recent TV appearance on UK's Channel 4, Olisa said that the Queen and the Royal Family support Black Lives Matter and "care passionately about making this one nation bound
by the same values" as the anti-racism and anti-police violence movement.
The claims were criticised by TV host and former politician Nigel Farage, who pointed out that a person in the position of Olisa should not make such statements on behalf of the monarch.
"Kenneth Olisa should not be making political statements on behalf of the Queen," Farage wrote on
Twitter. "BLM is dividing us, not uniting us, and is intended to do so."
According to The Daily Mail
, Conservative Member of Parliament Brendan Clarke-Smith stressed that it was inappropriate of him to try to drag the Queen into politics.
"As we know, Her Majesty has no official position on political issues and I think it is quite wrong to try to bring either her or the Royal Family into the political arena," Clarke-Smith is quoted in the report as saying. "Supporting efforts to tackle racism is quite different to expressing overt support for divisive organisations such as BLM, and the last thing we need to see at this moment in time is more gossip."
The MP noted that "Nobody has done more to promote togetherness and pride in our shared values than Her Majesty," especially as Head of the Commonwealth.
Among political commentators and experts interviewed by the outlet was journalist Toby Young, who presumed that Olisa's words could be interpreted as a "misunderstanding," indicating that there is a line between anti-racism and "the Marxist political group committed to defunding the police, dismantling the nuclear family and ending capitalism."
"I don't doubt the Queen supports the cause of anti-racism, but I would be very surprised if she supports the hard-left political group," he told The Daily Mail.
In his turn, Robert Jobson, author of the best-selling "Prince Philips's Century," remained perplexed at the statement and the feedback it received, noting that in his opinion "it appears this may have got lost in translation."
"Whist I am 100 percent certain that the Queen, as a person and as Head of the Commonwealth, believes that diversity and tolerance strengthens society, I do not believe she supports a political movement or has said she does," the writer is quoted as saying.
"[...] I feel the Lord Lieutenant may have misinterpreted a conversation, perhaps, or got the wrong end of the stick when he says Her Majesty supports any political organisation, whether it is BLM or any other political movement," he explained. "The Queen, after all, by the nature of her position as a constitutional monarch must remain politically neutral as she has for her entire reign. Any Lord Lieutenant of this country knows that."
In the interview with Channel 4, Olisa said he brought up
racial issues with the royals following the death of Black man George Floyd in the US and the accompanying riots that swept many Western nations.
For the majority of this year, after Harry and Meghan Markle's explosive appearance with Oprah in March, in which they claimed an anonymous royal raised worries about their first-born Archie's skin tone, racism allegations fell upon Buckingham Palace. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also argued that racism may have played a role in the Queen's alleged decision to deny
Archie, her first mixed-race great-grandchild, security protection and the loss of the title of prince, which in fact is subject to the law on succession.
The Queen later issued a statement saying that the complaints mentioned will be dealt with confidentially, and her grandson William defended the monarchy, saying: "We're very much not a racist family."
In early 2020, the Queen's household changed its Diversity Strategy to one that specifically emphasises the value of inclusivity, which predates the Oprah interview.