The Prince and Princess of Wales touched down in Boston on Wednesday as the fallout following a race-related incident at Buckingham Palace threatened to overshadow their visit to the United States.
Prince William’s godmother, Susan Hussey, was accused of making racist comments to Ngozi Fulani during a palace reception hosted by Camilla, Queen Consort, on Tuesday. After details of the exchange were made public on Twitter by Fulani, chief executive of the charity Sistah Space, Hussey resigned from her post as a lady of the household to the king and queen consort, effective immediately.
Mixed feelings about yesterday's visit to Buckingham Palace. 10 mins after arriving, a member of staff, Lady SH, approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur.— Sistah Space (@Sistah_Space) November 30, 2022
Thanks @ManduReid & @SuzanneEJacob for support🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/OUbQKlabyq
Hussey was one of Queen Elizabeth II’s longest-serving aides and worked at the palace for more than 60 years. After the death of the queen she stayed on at Buckingham Palace to assist Charles and Camilla despite being in her late 80s.
William is close to his godmother but moved swiftly to distance himself from her inappropriate line of questioning and had his spokesperson issue a statement condemning the comments she made, making it clear there is “no place” for racism in our society.
“I want to address the story relating to a guest attending a reception at Buckingham Palace last night,” a Kensington Palace spokesperson said before the start of the Boston visit. “This is a matter for Buckingham Palace but as the Prince of Wales’ spokesperson I appreciate you’re all here and understand you’ll want to ask about it. So let me address it head on.
I was really disappointed to hear about the guest’s experience at Buckingham Palace last night. Obviously, I wasn’t there, but racism has no place in our society. The comments were unacceptable and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.By Samir Hussein/ Courtesy of Pool/ Wire Image via Getty Images.
Buckingham Palace also issued a statement distancing itself from Hussey. “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,” it read.
“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.”