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Prince William's Godmother Steps Down From Royal Post After Racist Comments to Buckingham Palace Guest

ETOnline 11/30/2022 Rachel McRady‍
© Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A member of King Charles III's royal staff has stepped down after racist comments she made to a Black guest, Ngozi Fulani, who was visiting on behalf of the non-profit group Sistah Space. Lady Susan Hussey, who is one of Prince William's godmothers, resigned from her post hours after Fulani tweeted about her experience visiting the Palace on Tuesday. 

"We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Wednesday. "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." 

Referring to 83-year-old Lady Hussey as "the individual concerned," the Palace added that she'd "like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate affect."

Moving forward, the Palace noted, "All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times." 

Shortly before Prince William and Kate Middleton began their scheduled events for their official visit to Boston on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Prince and Princess of Wales also addressed the incident at Buckingham Palace. 

"This is a matter for Buckingham Palace but as the Prince of Wales' spokesperson I appreciate you're all here and understand you'll want to ask about it," the spokesperson told reporters. "So let me address it head on. I was really disappointed to hear about the guest's experience at Buckingham Palace last night. Obviously, I wasn't there, but racism has no place in our society. The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.

After her Palace visit, Fulani tweeted about her experience, sharing her account of a word-for-word exchange she had with Hussey while trying to check in. 

"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," Fulani wrote. "The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur. Thanks @ManduReid & @SuzanneEJacob for support🙏🏾"

Fulani says that Hussey asked multiple times where she came "from," not accepting her response that she was born in the United Kingdom and is a British citizen. 

"No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?" Fulani says Hussey asked her, additionally claiming that Hussey then said, "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?" 

Shortly after sharing her account, Fulani tweeted from the Sister Space account, writing, "Thanks everyone for their support. 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 🙏🏾" 

Sistah Spice is a non-profit organization that supports African and Caribbean heritage women affected by abuse. 

Lady Hussey holds the title of Baroness Hussey of North Bradley. She previously served as Woman of the Bedchamber to the late Queen Elizabeth II. She also famously accompanied the queen at the 2021 funeral of her husband Prince Philip. 

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