Prince's secretary loses race bias case

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The Independent Online

A former personal secretary to the Prince of Wales lost her claim for racial and sexual discrimination at an employment tribunal in Bristol.

Elizabeth Burgess, 39, had claimed constructive dismissal from her post at the Prince's Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire after being verbally abused and made to feel unwelcome. Her case was rejected after the tribunal panel ruled that she had failed to prove any of her allegations.

Mrs Burgess, who resigned in March, had alleged that staff wanted to replace her with a temporary assistant, Siobhan Bucknall. Omar Malik, for Mrs Burgess, had said his client felt her face did not fit at Highgrove

"What Mrs Burgess is saying is that they were looking for a white face for secretary and that white face belonged to Siobhan Bucknall," he said.

Adam Tolley, solicitor for the Prince of the Wales, said Mrs Burgess' allegations were "outrageous". He said Mrs Burgess had been an unreliable and argumentative witness, who launched into "speeches" about alleged discrimination that had "no basis at all.

"We got a great deal of paranoid conspiracy theories, but without a single hard fact to back it up," he said.