The royal aide is resigning after comments to the head of the black charity

The royal aide is resigning after comments to the head of the black charity

The lady-in-waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth II has resigned and apologized after making “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” by asking a prominent black advocate for domestic violence survivors where she “really comes from”.

Buckingham Palace said it took the incident at Tuesday’s reception of the Queen Consort on violence against women “extremely seriously” and immediately investigated it.

A source has confirmed that the person who made the remarks was Lady Susan Hussey, who served as maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 60 years and is godmother to the Prince of Wales.

Sistah Space chief executive Ngozi Fulani detailed the conversation on Twitter, describing it as a “violation” and saying the experience “will never leave me.”

Ngozi Fulani said she felt she couldn’t tell the Queen Consort about the incident

She only called the member of the palace household Lady SH, but the palace refused to confirm who it was.

Lady Susan Hussey, 83, who was invited to the reception and was on duty there.

She has now stepped down from her honorary role as one of three ladies of the household, to which she was newly appointed to assist King Charles on formal occasions.

Charles, who ascended the throne less than three months ago, and Camilla have been made aware of the situation, the palace said.

Ms Fulani said she was challenged when she said her charity was based in Hackney, and “Lady SH” said: “No, what part of Africa are YOU from?”

The palace said in a statement: “Unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made in this case. We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter and invite her to personally discuss any elements of her experience if she so desires.

“Meanwhile, the person concerned would like to sincerely apologize for the pain caused and has resigned from their volunteer position with immediate effect.

“All members of the household are reminded of the diversity and inclusivity guidelines, which they must adhere to at all times.”

Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who was with Ms Fulani and witnessed the exchange, said they were treated like “trespassers”.

Ms Reid said: “We really felt like, oh, OK, we’re almost being treated like intruders in this place. We are not treated as if we belong, we are not embraced as if we are British.”

She described the conversation as “grim” and like an “interrogation,” adding, “She was really adamant. She didn’t take Ngozi’s answers at face value.”

Ms Fulani described the encounter, which took place 10 minutes after arriving at the palace picture gallery, on social media, including the remarks: “Where are you from?”

“Me: ‘Here, UK’. ‘No, but what nationality are you?’

Lady Susan Hussey pictured alongside Queen Elizabeth II in 2011

“Me: ‘I was born here and I’m British.’ ‘No, but where are you really from, where are your people from?’

Me: “My people, lady, what is this?”

“‘Oh, I see I’m going to have a challenge to get you to say where you’re from.”

Ms Fulani, who was Sistah Space in 2015 to provide expert support to women of African and Caribbean heritage affected by abuse, wrote: “Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace.

“10 minutes after my arrival, a member of staff, Lady SH, approached me, moved my hair to see my name tag. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is blurry.”

She thanked Ms Reid, the first person of color to lead a national political party in British history, and Suzanne Jacob, chief executive of Safe Lives, for their support on the day.

In response to messages of support, Ms Fulani wrote: “It was so strange to be standing in a room full of people while this violation was taking place, especially as the event was about violence against women.

“That feeling of not knowing what to do will never leave me. Almost alone in a room full of advocates.”

She said it was a “struggle to stay in a room where you got hurt”.

Ms Fulani expressed desperation at not being able to report the incident and said she felt she had nothing to say to Camilla.

“There was no one I could report it to. I couldn’t report it to the Queen Consort, plus it was such a shock to me and the other two women that we were stunned to remain silent for the time being,” she wrote.

“I just stood at the edge of the room, smiled, and briefly engaged with whoever was speaking to me until I could leave.”

Ms Jacob tweeted it was “a terrible thing to happen, and in a room that should have been nothing but love and celebration,” and said she would raise it with the team who made sure they were there.

The matter is a matter of serious concern for the palace, where an unnamed king was accused by the Duchess of Sussex of racism against her unborn son Archie last year.

Meghan, the first multiracial person to marry a senior royal in centuries, said during her Oprah interview that one royal – neither the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh – expressed concerns to Harry about how dark Archie’s skin color might be before he was born.

The Queen issued a statement saying the issues raised would be dealt with privately as family but that “some memories may vary”.

Sistah Space said they would not name the household member, adding, “At Sistah Space, we want to raise awareness of this issue rather than shaming another person.”


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