What did Lady Hussey say? The royal race row comments made by Prince William’s godmother

’No, what part of Africa are YOU from?’ the royal aide is said to have asked

Joe Sommerlad
Thursday 08 December 2022 04:32 GMT
Buckingham Palace aide resigns amid royal race row

Lady Susan Hussey, a former lady-in-waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth II, has been forced to resign from her role as a royal aide at Buckingham Palace after a black charity boss accused her of making racist marks at a reception held by the Queen Consort.

Ngozi Fulani, founder and chief executive of Britain’s leading domestic abuse charity for women of African and Caribbean heritage, Sistah Spice, described the “traumatic” encounter in which Lady Susan persistently asked her what part of Africa she came from.

The exchange took palace within just 10 minutes of Ms Fulani’s arrival at a Violence Against Women and Girls reception at the Palace on Tuesday.

Lady Susan, who served the late Queen for more than 60 years and is Prince William’s godmother, stepped down from her honorary role on Wednesday and expressed her “profound apologies for the hurt caused” via a statement.

Prince William, currently in the US preparing for the latest instalment of his Earthshot Prize awards ceremony for environmentalists, also issued a statement, saying that “racism has no place in society”.

Speaking 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.”

You can read Ms Fulani’s account of her exchange with Lady Hussey, as she first reported it on Twitter, in full below.

Lady SH: “Where are you from?”

Ms Fulani: “Sistah Space.”

Lady SH: “No where do you come from?

Ms Fulani: “We’re based in Hackney.”

Lady SH: “No, what part of Africa are YOU from?”

Ms Fulani: “I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records.”

Lady SH: “Well, you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?”

Ms Fulani: “Here, UK”

Lady SH: “No, but what nationality are you?”

Ms Fulani: “I am born here and am British.”

Lady SH: “No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”

Ms Fulani: “‘My people’? Lady, what is this?”

Lady SH: “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?”

Ms Fulani: “Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50’s when …”

Lady SH: “Oh, I knew we’d get there in the end, you’re Caribbean!”

Ms Fulani: “No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.”

Lady SH: “Oh so you’re from ...”

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