Diarist and former Victoria and Albert Museum director Sir Roy Strong said the Queen Mother once told him to ‘beware the blackamoors’ over lunch. Picture: Alan Pryke.
Diarist and former Victoria and Albert Museum director Sir Roy Strong said the Queen Mother once told him to ‘beware the blackamoors’ over lunch. Picture: Alan Pryke. News Corp Australia

Queen Mother was racist says royal diarist

A ROYAL diarist has revealed that the Queen Mother was racist, but he hid her offensive comments to protect her.

Historian and museum director Sir Roy Strong said he knew she was "colour prejudiced" but avoided discussing the fact because it was "too awful".

The diarist known for his acerbic wit and "waspish" writing told the Hay Festival of literature in Wales that "on the whole" he recounted events as they happened, but he did not write about certain moments.

Sir Roy recalled one shocking comment by the Queen Mother over lunch at a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Times reports.

"I was on the left of her I think, and the Queen was in Africa at the time, and the Queen Mother leant over to me and said, 'Beware the blackamoors'," he said. "I thought, 'I can't put that down, it's too awful.' But one knows she was colour prejudiced. So I always felt there was a certain streak of me that was protective of things, but on the whole not."

The word "blackamoors" is an old-fashioned reference to an African or very dark-skinned person.

Sir Roy was not always so careful to shield the royals from embarrassment. He included "wicked gossip" about the royals in his diaries covering 1967 to 2003, once telling his publisher's lawyer he did not care whether he saw Princess Margaret again.

But it appears that the Queen Mother was different. "I am always protective of people who are close to me, who are friends," he told the Hay Festival. "I revere the monarchy for all its faults."

It is the second eye-opening revelation about the royals' flaws this week, after the Mail on Sunday published extracts from letters written by Prince Charles to Nancy Reagan.

In them, the Prince of Wales confessed his marriage to Diana was "a Greek tragedy" and "so awful very few people could believe it."

News Corp Australia

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