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30th Nov 2022

Prince William condemns ‘unacceptable comments’ from godmother towards charity boss

Charlie Herbert

Lady Susan Hussey asked the charity boss ‘where do you really come from?’

Prince William and Buckingham Palace have condemned the comments of Lady Susan Hussey after she asked a charity boss at a palace reception “what part of Africa are you from?”

Ngozi Fulani, the boss of London charity Sistah Space, a charity which supports women of African and Caribbean heritage across the UK who have faced domestic or sexual abuse, was attending a Buckingham Palace reception set up by Queen Consort Camilla,

It was at the event that she was interrogated by Lady Hussey, who was Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting and is Prince William’s godmother.

In a post on Twitter, Fulani claimed that the member of the royal household moved her hair aside to see her name badge, and then challenged her to explain where she was from.

Lady Hussey is said to have asked Fulani “what part of Africa are you from”. When Fulani said she was British and had been born in Britain, Lady Hussey asked: “But where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”

After Fulani voiced her shock at the questions, Lady Hussey exclaimed: “Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from!”

Lady Hussey has apologised for the comments and stepped down from the royal household.

Both Prince William and Buckingham Palace have released statements condemning Lady Hussey’s comments.

A spokesperson for Prince William said “racism has no place in our society”

“The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect,” they said.

In its statement, Buckingham Palace said: “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details.

“In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made. We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.

“In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.

“All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”

Speaking about the incident, Fulani told the Mirror: “It was prolonged racism. It was like an interrogation. This wasn’t just a few seconds, it was concerted over several minutes. It felt, as three black women, that we were trespassers, that we were not welcome or accepted as British.”

Lady Hussey, 83, was a close confidante of the late Queen and accompanied her at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh last year.

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