A black former part-time secretary at the Prince of Wales's Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire last night lost her claim to have been the victim of racial discrimination, when an employment tribunal hearing in Bristol ruled that she had not been forced out of her job.
Elizabeth Burgess, 39, of Bristol, who had worked as the prince's secretary for 10 years, had claimed during emotional scenes at the tribunal on Thursday that Prince Charles's former valet, Michael Fawcett, had once called her a "fucking nigger typist" and that the "old school tie" regime at the estate had been out to replace her with a white woman.
Mrs Burgess, who had not complained of discrimination when she left her job, wept while giving evidence, saying: "We are servants. To be a servant's servant is bad enough: to be a black servant is worse."
She claimed to the tribunal that she was the victim of constructive dismissal and sexual and racial discrimination.
She had said that Mr Fawcett's alleged remark, made just out of the prince's hearing, had occurred in 1996, five years before she left Highgrove, during a discussion about the household rules and regulations.
The prince's private secretary, Stephen Lamport, and the prince's deputy private secretary, Mark Bolland, gave evidence that there had been no wish to push Mrs Burgess out and no confrontation - although there was concern that she was only working at Highgrove for 15 hours a week instead of the 20 hours a week that she was supposed to be there.
Mrs Burgess claimed that she was only supposed to do that much time when the prince was present.
After the tribunal ruled that she had failed to prove any of the allegations she had made about her treatment while working at Highgrove, Mr Lamport said: "Obviously we are very sorry that this case was brought in the first place.
"Lizzie has over many years been a much respected and highly regarded member of the Prince of Wales's household, and all of us wish her the best for the future."
Mrs Burgess's solicitor, Stephen Venton, said: "She is naturally disappointed at the result.
"She realised it was difficult taking on a respondent of this magnitude, but she felt that she had to do so, and it was always a matter of principle for her."
Prince Charles has regularly pressed for more members of ethnic minorities to be recruited to the royal households and the armed services, especially elite regiments such as the Guards. His current press secretary, Colleen Harris, is black.