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Who is Lady Susan Hussey? Prince William’s godmother who quit Buckingham Palace role amidst racism row

The royal staff member served the Queen for more than 60 years

Saman Javed,Inga Parkel
Thursday 01 December 2022 06:07 GMT
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Prince Andrew fights back tears as Queen's coffin carried into Westminster Abbey

The member of the Buckingham Palace household, who stepped down after “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” made to a Black charity boss, has been revealed as Prince William’s godmother, Lady Susan Hussey.

Ngozi Fulani, founder of Britain’s leading domestic abuse charity for Black women, says she was left “traumatised” after Lady Hussey, 80, asked racially offensive questions about Fulani’s heritage at the event.

The CEO of Sistah Space was invited to the Violence Against Women and Girls reception on Tuesday (29 November), hosted by the Queen Consort Camilla, and described the remarks as “insulting”.

Lady Susan served the late Queen Elizabeth II for more than 60 years, making her the longest-serving lady-in-waiting.

Her resignation comes amidst The Prince and Princess of Wales’s first visit to America since 2014.

Follow along here for live updates regarding the royal couples’ trip.

Who is Lady Susan Hussey?

Lady Susan Hussey arrives for the funeral (right) (PA)

Lady Susan Hussey is the daughter of Geoffrey Waldegrave, the 12th Earl Waldegrave and Mary Hermione, Countess Waldegrave.

She was married to the late BBC chairman Marmaduke Lord Hussey, who died in 2006.

When did she start working for the Queen?

Lady Susan took up the role as one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting in 1960 and served the monarch for more than 60 years.

She was appointed following the birth of Prince Andrew to take charge of the monarch’s correspondence.

As a lady-in-waiting, she was named the leading “woman of the bedchamber”. In this role, she would help the Queen with daily activities such as helping her bathe and get dressed.

How often was she seen with the Queen?

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the funeral of Prince Philip alongside Susan Hussey (Getty Images)

Lady Susan was seen travelling alongside the Queen to Buckingham Palace ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony earlier this year, during the monarch’s platinum jubilee celebrations.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Lady Susan was one of the key staff members who were part of the “HMS bubble” at Windsor Castle.

Lady Susan Hussey (left) attends State Opening of Parliament, 2019 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

She was also the only person to accompany the Queen to the funeral of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April 2021.

In September, Lady Susan joined other staff members to pay their respects to the Queen during the lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.

Lady Susan arrived wearing an all-black ensemble, accessorised with a pearl necklace. The choice of jewellery marked a subtle tribute to the Queen, who was known to love pearls.

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