Buckingham Palace aide resigns after repeatedly asking black charity boss where she was ‘really from’
Ngozi Fulani, who was born and raised in the UK, said she had been left “stunned” by the exchange in which the royal aide asked her “whereabouts in Africa are you from?”
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A Buckingham Palace jobs: Manage correspondence to The King and Queen Consort - salary and how to apply">Buckingham Palace aide has resigned after repeatedly asking a British black charity boss where she was “really from”. Ngozi Fulani, founder of London-based charity Sistah Space which supports women affected by domestic abuse, was left “stunned” after being “interrogated” by Lady Susan Hussey over her nationality while attending a charity event at the palace this week.
Lady Susan, a former lady-in-waiting to the late Queen and godmother to the Prince of Wales, has apologised for her comments which have been branded “offensive, racist and unwelcoming” by Women’s Equality Party leader Mandu Reid who witnessed the exchange. African President in first state visit since becoming king">Buckingham Palace has since apologised for the incident which it said was “unacceptable and deeply regrettable”.
Ms Fulani took to Twitter after the event to speak out about what happened. She claimed that Lady Susan had moved her hair aside to see her name badge at the event before asking her to explain where she was from. “We’re based in Hackney,” Ms Fulani told the royal aide, to which she responded: “No, what part of Africa are you from?”
When Ms Fulani retorted: “I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records”, she said Lady Susan replied: “Well you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are from?”. “I am born here and British,” Ms Fulani said, to which Lady Susan is said to have replied: “No, but where are you really from, where do your people come from?”
"It was such a shock to me and the other two women,” Ms Fulani added on Twitter, “that we were stunned [into] temporary silence."
Buckingham Palace has released a statement, in which it did not name the palace aide involved. It 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."