Prince William has weighed in a royal racism scandal that has engulfed Buckingham Palace.
Ahead of a trip to the US, the Prince of Wales said he was “really disappointed” to hear of racism claims about senior royal aide after, it’s claimed, she repeatedly asked a British black palace guest where she was “really from”.
Lady Susan Hussey, a lady-in-waiting of the late Queen, resigned from her role at Buckingham Palace.
She was accused of quizzing Ngozi Fulani over her nationality at a reception on Tuesday, The Sun reported.
Ms Fulani, who was born in Britain, was at the reception for campaigners against violence towards women hosted by the Queen Consort, Camilla.
She had attended the event on behalf of domestic abuse charity Sistah Space to mark the UN’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Ms Fulani said she was horrified when Lady Susan approached her, moved her hair to see her name badge and asked: “Where do your people come from?”
The employee, and Prince William’s godmother, repeatedly questioned what part of Africa she was from and when she first came to the UK, Ms Fulani claimed.
She said the experience, just 10 minutes after arriving, left her “insulted” with “mixed feelings” about the royal visit.
Prince William responds
Buckingham Palace confirmed the aide involved had stepped aside after an investigation.
A spokesman 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.
“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.
“All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”
The Prince and Princess of Wales are due to land in Boston on Wednesday (US time) for a three-day trip.
A spokesman for William said it was “really disappointing” that a Palace guest had been interrogated about their nationality.
“Racism has no place in our society, these comments were unacceptable and it’s right that the individual concerned has stepped down.”
Lady Susan served as the Queen’s lady-in-waiting for 60 years.
She was officially known as Woman of the Bedchamber for Queen Elizabeth II.
The 83-year-old attended the state funeral and joined close family and friends when the coffin arrived at Westminster Hall to lie-in-state.
The King promoted her to oversee formal palace events such as Monday’s palace gathering.
Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who was also there at the time, told The Sun that Lady Susan’s questions had made her and Ms Fulani feel like “trespassers” rather than guests.
The politician, the first person of colour to lead a UK political party, said she didn’t feel welcome after the encounter despite being invited.
“It was very uncomfortable,” she added.
“This reception was there to celebrate people who had been working to end violence against women and girls and yet we were on the receiving end of an interrogation about what our heritage was.
“At an event like that to be on the receiving end of such offensive, racist, unwelcoming treatment really paints a bad picture.
“It was meant to be an opportunity to celebrate and honour people who had been working on this really important subject and elevate the importance of the subject.
“The encounter we had undermined that.”
The claims come 18 months after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stunned the world alleging a member of the royal family made racist remarks about the colour of their son Archie’s skin.
The shock new race row threatens to overshadow the event in which the Queen Consort delivered a powerful speech about tackling domestic violence – a cause she has been campaigning for years
Camilla asked assembled guests to use the “precious opportunity to speak up and galvanise action” to halt rape and domestic abuse.
Joined by Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark and the Countess of Wessex in the Picture Gallery of the palace, she set out her hopes for a future without gender-based violence.
The reception included around 300 guests – campaigners, politicians and celebrity ambassadors – to draw attention to the ongoing crisis.
Guests of honour included Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, Ukrainian. She was there to boost awareness about the scourge of sexual violence in conflict, experienced in her own country, she said, by the rape of women and girls at the hands of invading Russian soldiers.
This story was originally published by The Sun and was reproduced with permission