A black domestic violence activist who has been repeatedly asked by Prince William’s godmother where she “really is from” said she feels abused, verbally abused and “trapped”.
Ngozi FulaniFounder of the charity Sistah Space, works as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and described the exchange as an “injury”.
“I didn’t give the answer she wanted from me. And we couldn’t go on like this,” Ms Fulani told Sky News.
“And it was when she said, ‘I knew you would make it in the end’ – that proved to me that you were determined to prove I had no right to British citizenship.
“Well, that reminds me of the Windrush conversation where 50 or 60 years of people who were born here, worked here or gave so much can just be thrown out.”
Lady Susan Hussey stepped down from her role in the royal household and apologized for the incident at an event at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday hosted by the Queen Consort.
Describing Lady Hussey touching her hair to see her name tag, the charity boss said: “Well, abuse doesn’t have to be physical. But if you move my hair without permission, that’s abuse to me.
“If you attack verbally, because that’s it for me – you’re determined that the answer I gave you is not the one you want to hear, don’t recognize me as British.
“And until I acknowledge I’m not, you won’t stop. What am I doing? What do I do at this point? So I’ll be quiet. And I hoped she would go, and she eventually did.”
When asked how she felt about the conversation, she said: “I was, if you will, the victim of crime, of racism.
“When that happens, and it’s so direct, and in a space like that, I kind of felt trapped in that space.”
When asked if Buckingham Palace had contacted her, she said: “I haven’t heard from anyone. Maybe they tried, but they didn’t get through to me or Sistah Space.”
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“Institutional Racism in the Palace”
Pressed if there was a deeper problem, she replied: “So institutional racism, racism is a problem across the UK. It’s with the police. It has been established. It is in the fire department / department that is established. It’s even part of the NHS. It is a problem. And it’s at Buckingham Palace, one person is not responsible.
“They need to review their entire equality and racial policies. You need to speak to the people who say they are affected.”
She said it’s been “a difficult couple of days for a variety of reasons.”
“One is that I’m still processing what happened at Buckingham Palace and the outrage that followed was interesting,” she said.
“Racism has no place in a place that is meant to be a safe place for everyone, regardless of their background.”
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Buckingham Palace said it was taking the matter “extremely seriously” and was immediately investigating.
Prince William, who is on a three-day visit to the United States with his wife Kateis to agree that it was right for Lady Hussey to step down from her honorary role as Lady of the Household with immediate effect.
Before he landed in the US, the prince was informed of his godmother’s comments.
A spokesman for Kensington Palace told reporters in the United States Boston Voyage of the Prince and Princess of Wales – which has been overshadowed by the palace controversy – that Lady Hussey’s comments were “unacceptable” and that “racism has no place in our society”.
Later, during an NBA game that William and Kate were attending, the royal couple were booed by some members of the crowd, and at an Earthshot Awards event, they heard a speech about racial equality from a black reverend.
Lady Hussey, who served as the Queen’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years, has offered her “deepest apologies for the pain caused”.
However, the monarchy has faced allegations of institutional racism since Ms Fulani revealed what had happened.
Lawyer ‘also asked about ethnicity’
Nazir Afzal, the Chancellor of the University of Manchester, who was also at the palace reception, said he too had been questioned by Lady Hussey about his origins.
The former North West Attorney General tweeted: “I was at the reception at Buckingham Palace where Lady Hussey questioned the inheritance of a diamond [domestic violence] Expert Ngozi Fulani.
“She only asked me once about my origins and seemed to accept my answer – currently Manchester!
“But racism is never far away.”
Downing Street declined to comment on the incident.
Asked if the PM believed it was right for Lady Hussey to step down, Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “It’s not one that I spoke to him about.
“It is up to the palace and you will know that they have made a statement about it.”
Last year, the Duchess of Sussex claimed a member of the royal household asked her about it what skin color her son Archie would have before he was born.
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