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Camilla's former lady-in-waiting, who just resigned over 'unacceptable' comments, was never paid a salary. Here's what her job entailed.

INSIDER 11/30/2022 mfriel@businessinsider.com (Mikhaila Friel)
Queen Consort Camilla. Pool Getty © Pool Getty Queen Consort Camilla. Pool Getty
  • Lady Susan Hussey has resigned over comments made to a guest visiting the palace.
  • Hussey was a lady-in-waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth II and also served Charles and Camilla.
  • She was one of the most influential people at the palace, and yet she was never paid a salary.

Former royal lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey has resigned over "unacceptable" comments towards a Black guest visiting Buckingham Palace.

The palace confirmed to Insider on Wednesday that a staff member has stepped back after Ngozi Fulani, founder of the domestic violence charity Sistah Space, wrote on Twitter that an employee named "Lady SH" questioned her over where she was "really from" at an event on Tuesday.

Mandu Reid, who said she witnessed the conversation, told BBC News that the questions were "offensive, racist and unwelcoming." Although the person's identity has not been confirmed by the palace, Reid told BBC News that the person who made the comments was Hussey. 

A palace spokesperson told Insider that the comments were "unacceptable and deeply regrettable."

Ngozi Fulani and Mandu Reid did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Hussey was one of the most powerful people at the palace, even though she wasn't paid a salary

Hussey began her role as a lady-in-waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1960, a nonsalaried role given to aristocratic women which involved assisting the monarch with daily duties, such as responding to correspondence, as well as accompanying her to engagements. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Susan Hussey. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images © Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Susan Hussey. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Hussey was known as the palace's "Number One Head Girl" and was previously described as "one of the key trusted figures helping the Queen in her later life," according to Tatler.

Marlene Koenig, a royal historian, previously told Insider that Hussey was "very close to the Queen."

She is godmother to the monarch's grandson, Prince William, the BBC reports, and was in the official family photos at his christening ceremony.

Lady Susan (center, back row) accompanies the Prince and Princess of Wales at Prince William's christening ceremony. PA Images via Getty Images © PA Images via Getty Images Lady Susan (center, back row) accompanies the Prince and Princess of Wales at Prince William's christening ceremony. PA Images via Getty Images

Hussey also had influence over new hires at the royal household. She interviewed the Queen's dressmaker, Angela Kelly, for the role of assistant dresser in 1994, Kelly wrote in her 2019 memoir, "The Other Side of the Coin." Kelly worked for the Queen for 27 years.

King Charles and the Queen Consort continued to employ Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting after she died in September at the age of 96.

Earlier this week, the palace announced that Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting would keep their positions at the palace and would be referred to as "ladies of the household." Their new role will involve assisting King Charles in planning official palace events, BBC News reported. 

Camilla, Queen Consort, won't continue the tradition of having ladies-in-waiting, but will instead have a group of close friends known as "companions" to accompany her to events, the publication added.

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