Susan Hussey – the late Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting has resigned and apologised after repeatedly asking a black British woman about where she “really came from.”
Ngozi Fulani, who was a guest Tuesday at a reception hosted by Queen Consort Camilla, took to social media to say she was left feeling traumatised and violated after the incident.
Fulani, the founder of the charity Sistah Space, wrote on Twitter: “Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace. 10 mins after arriving, a member of staff, Lady SH, approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur.”
She then described the conversation:
Lady SH: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space.
SH: No, where do you come from?
Me: We’re based in Hackney.
SH: No, what part of Africa are YOU from?
Me: I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records.
SH: Well, you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, UK
SH: NO, but what Nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.
SH: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
Me: ‘My people’, lady, what is this?
SH: Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from. When did you first come here?
Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50s when …
SH: Oh, I knew we’d get there in the end, you’re Caribbean!
Me: No Lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.
SH: Oh, so you’re from …”
Prince William, who is Lady Hussey’s godson, has condemned the comments, saying they were unacceptable and that “racism has no place in our society.”
Buckingham Palace described the remarks as “unacceptable and deeply regrettable.”
Buckingham Palace said: “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full facts. In this instance unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made. We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and we 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.”