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Buckingham Palace household member, reportedly Prince William's godmother, resigns amid racism allegations

FOX News logo FOX News 11/30/2022 Stephanie Nolasco
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An honorary member of the Buckingham Palace household, who has been identified by numerous U.K. outlets as Lady Susan Hussey, has resigned after repeatedly asking a Black woman what country she "came from."

Domestic abuse activist Ngozi Fulani attended the Buckingham Palace reception to combat violence against women on Tuesday. The reception was hosted by Camilla, the queen consort. Fulani was visiting on behalf of the nonprofit group Sistah Space for which she serves as chief executive. The east London refuge provides specialist support for women of African and Caribbean heritage.

Queen Elizabeth ll, accompanied by her lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, undertakes a walkabout to mark her Diamond Jubilee April 30, 2012, in Windsor, England. Anwar Hussein/WireImage © Anwar Hussein/WireImage Queen Elizabeth ll, accompanied by her lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, undertakes a walkabout to mark her Diamond Jubilee April 30, 2012, in Windsor, England. Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Fulani alleged she was repeatedly asked by a palace household member identified only as "Lady SH" where she "really" came from. The individual allegedly didn’t accept Fulani’s response that she was born in the U.K. and is a British citizen.

"Mixed feelings about yesterday's visit to Buckingham Palace," Fulani tweeted via Sistah Space’s official account. "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."

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Fulani then went into detail about the conversation that took place. Fulani claimed that, after sharing she was from east London, she was then interrogated and asked, "What nationality are you?" "Where do you really come from?" "Where do your people come from?" and "No, what part of Africa are YOU from?".

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Britain’s Press Association and several other media outlets in Britain identified the woman as Hussey, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years. The 83-year-old is Prince William’s godmother. The BBC also reported that Hussey apologized and resigned.

Mandu Reid, an eyewitness to the conversation, told BBC News that Hussey’s questions were "offensive, racist and unwelcoming."

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the identity of the individual.

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"Thanks everyone for their support," said a tweet from Sistah Space. "It is not our wish to reveal the person involved, it is the system that needs to be revised. Yes the person was offensive, but it serves no purpose to name & shame her, it would make us just as bad. We prefer that this be handled kindly."

A Kensington Palace spokesperson announced Wednesday that "there is no place" for racism within the palace. A spokesperson for King Charles III didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. According to the BBC, the palace described the remarks as "unacceptable and deeply regrettable."

"The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect," added a spokesperson for William, 40.

In a statement, quoted by the BBC, 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."

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Multiple U.K. outlets have identified the courtier in question as Lady Sarah Hussey, Prince William's godmother. Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the individual's identity. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images © Getty Images Multiple U.K. outlets have identified the courtier in question as Lady Sarah Hussey, Prince William's godmother. Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the individual's identity. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"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," the statement shared. "All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times."

The incident will spark concern at the palace following allegations of racism by Meghan Markle. The Duchess of Sussex is a biracial American who is married to Prince Harry. Last year, she said a member of the royal household asked her what color skin her baby would have when she was pregnant with her first child.

At the time, William told reporters, "We are not a racist family."

Catherine, Princess of Wales, and William, Prince of Wales, arrive at Logan International Airport Nov. 30, 2022, in Boston. Getty Images © Getty Images Catherine, Princess of Wales, and William, Prince of Wales, arrive at Logan International Airport Nov. 30, 2022, in Boston. Getty Images

The Prince and Princess of Wales are in Boston for a three-day visit. Their visit to the U.S. will conclude with the Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony Friday.

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