Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Lady Susan Hussey: What has the royal family said about the Buckingham Palace racism scandal?

Late Queen’s former lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, resigned after repeatedly asking a Black charity boss where she was ‘really’ from during an event at Buckingham Palace

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 01 December 2022 12:50 GMT
Lady Susan Hussey asked Ngozi Fulani where she was from 'seven or eight times'

The Prince and Princess of Wales’s anticipated visit to the US was supposed to help generate some much-needed positive publicity for the royal family.

But William and Kate have found themselves dealing with a racism row that has errupted back home, after charity boss Ngozi Fulani accused William’s godmother, Lady Susan Hussey, of making a number of racist remarks towards her.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Fulani accused Buckingham Palace of “insitutional racism” after the late Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting engaged her in a “traumatic” encounter.

The incident took place at a Violence Against Women and Girls reception hosted by Camilla, Queen Consort.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent about her encounter, Ms Fulani said: “This is bigger than one individual. It’s institutional racism.

“What’s the lesson here? When I drove into the palace, the car was searched and we were searched, as you would expect, because they have to protect the household. But what protects us, Black people, from that treatment? This incident is unfortunate and shows that nothing has changed.”

Lady Hussey, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years and is Prince William’s godmother, stepped down from her honorary role on Wednesday (30 November) and expressed her “profound apologies for the hurt caused” via a statement.

Here are the royal family members and representatives who have commented on the scandal so far.

Lady Susan Hussey

Lady Susan Hussey resigned after the incident (Getty )

The late Queen’s lady-in-waiting apologised and resigned after she repeatedly questioned Black British charity boss Ngozi Fulani about where she was “really” from.

Lady Hussey, 83, who was a close confidante to the Queen and is a godmother to Prince William, stepped down from her honorary role with immediate effect after details of the incident were made public. She had been recently appointed as one of three Ladies of the Household to assist King Charles at formal occasions.

Prince William

Britain US Royals

Responding to the scandal, a spokesperson for Prince William issued a sharp rebuke against the “unacceptable” comments by Lady Hussey.

“I was really disappointed to hear about the experiences of a guest at Buckingham Palace,” the statement said. “Racism has no place in our society, these comments were unaccaptable and it is right that the individual concerned has stepped down.”

Buckingham Palace

The Palace said in a statement: “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 frrom 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.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in