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World Prince William's Godmother Quits Over 'Insulting' Racially Charged Remarks

16:31  30 november  2022
16:31  30 november  2022 Source:   msn.com

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A charity boss experienced a "violation" after being questioned multiple times about her heritage during an "insulting" conversation with Prince William's godmother at Buckingham Palace, she said in social media posts.

Camilla, the Queen Consort, speaks about the importance of listening to victims of gender-based violence during a reception at Buckingham Palace on November 29, 2022. Charity boss Ngozi Fulani described an © Kin Cheung - WPA Pool/Getty Images Camilla, the Queen Consort, speaks about the importance of listening to victims of gender-based violence during a reception at Buckingham Palace on November 29, 2022. Charity boss Ngozi Fulani described an "insulting" conversation with a guest during the reception.

Ngozi Fulani, chief executive of Sistah Space, described an exchange with Lady Susan Hussey during a reception about domestic violence hosted by Camilla, the Queen Consort, on Tuesday, November 29.

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Buckingham Palace said the comments were "unacceptable" and that Hussey had "stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect."

Hussey was among Queen Elizabeth II's closest courtiers in her former role as a Lady in Waiting and had reportedly been kept on by King Charles III to be "Ladies of the Household"—a role that was to include hosting formal occasions at the palace.

Fulani, who is Black, described being asked multiple times where she was from after Hussey did not appear to accept the answer that she was British.

The incident comes on the back of long running debates about race and diversity in the royal household, including Meghan Markle's famous description of "concerns" about how dark her unborn child's skin might be.

Prince William's Godmother Resigns From Royal Post After Racist Remarks

  Prince William's Godmother Resigns From Royal Post After Racist Remarks Lady Susan Hussey — Prince William‘s godmother and one of King Charles III’s top team members — has resigned amid allegations of racism, Us Weekly confirms. “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday, November 30. “In this instance, […]“We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday, November 30. “In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.

Fulani wrote on Instagram: "This event remains a blur after the violation. Today, I attended the event at Buckingham Palace, having received an invitation from Queen Consort, Camilla, courtesy of @safelives_.

"There were many guests from various organisations. I was standing with two women, including @mandureid from the @wep_uk when an elder women (SH) approached us. She put her hand in my hair to move my locs so that she could see my name badge."

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Ngozi Fulani's Alleged Conversation at Buckingham Palace

Fulani gave the following transcript of the conversation, using the initials SH to refer to the other woman:

SH: Where are you from?

Me: Sistah Space.

SH: No where do you come from?

Me: We're based in Hackney.

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

Me: I don't know, they didn't leave any records.

SH: Well, you must know where you're from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?

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Me: Here, UK

SH: No, but what Nationality are you?

Me: I am born here and am British

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

Me: 'My people', lady, what is this?

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?

Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50's when...

SH: Oh, I knew we'd get there in the end, you're Caribbean!

Me: No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.

SH: Oh so you're from....

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement sent to Newsweek: "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.

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"All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times."

Newsweek has approached Fulani for comment. The conversation was witnessed by Mandu Reid, leader of the Women's Equality Party, who backed up Fulani's account.

In her own Twitter post, Reid said: "I was right there. I witnessed this firsthand. We were at an event that was supposed to celebrate our work. For people like Lady SH, people like us will never really belong here. Infinite solidarity @Sistah_Space."

Hussey was known affectionately as Elizabeth's 'Number One Head Girl' and was a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, one of the highest honors given by the queen herself.

Reid told Newsweek: "We were approached quite quickly by Lady Susan Hussey who was a member of the household in some way. She zoomed in on Ngozi immediately and asked Ngozi where she's from. Ngozi said she is from Sistah Space. And Lady Susan said, 'No, no, no, that's not what I mean at all. Where are you really from?'"

"She was really persistent. None of Ngozi's answers satisfied her," Reid said. "She wanted to know Ngozi's nationality. She wanted to know where Ngozi's 'people' came from. What is their African origin or whatever. You can be damn sure that a white woman wouldn't have faced the same line of questioning."

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Fulani posted her invitation to the event online and said she was there "courtesy of" U.K. domestic abuse charity SafeLives, run by chief executive Suzanne Jacob, which has worked with Camilla before.

Fulani added: "I am also grateful to Mandu, and the other sis that heard the whole insulting conversation. (not going to name without permission). Thank you @suzanneejacob and staff for understanding that it's the last thing you expect to happen to you at Buckingham Palace.

"The rest of the event was 'good'. I met some awesome people."

Race, Diversity and the Royal Family

In the aftermath of Meghan's allegations of racism by an unnamed royal, Buckingham Palace began publishing diversity figures and as of June 2022 was yet to hit its target of 10 percent of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Meghan and Prince Harry biography Finding Freedom, published in 2020, read: "A major theme of racism in the UK centers on the question of who is authentically 'British.'

"It can come in subtle acts of bias, micro-aggressions such as the Palace staffer who told the biracial co-author of this book, 'I never expected you to speak the way you do'."

Historian Robert Lacey wrote in his book Battle of Brothers: "When Meghan had arrived in Buckingham Palace some three years earlier and had walked down any corridor—or the corridor of any other palace—to enter any office, the face of virtually every senior official whom she encountered had been white."

Camilla's Speech at Domestic Violence Reception

During the event, Camilla gave a speech on domestic violence in which she said the most important thing people can do to help survivors was to listen to them.

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She said: "Over the years, in my previous role, I had the privilege of meeting many survivors of rape and domestic abuse; and of sharing in the sorrow of people who had lost family members to violence. And again and again, I heard that two of the most powerful ways in which to help were to remember and to listen.

"We remember those women who have lost their lives at the hands of a stranger, or of the person who should have loved them best.

"In so doing, we refuse to be desensitised by cold facts and figures and we resolve to keep the names and the memories of these women alive."

Update 11/30/22, 8:45 a.m. ET: This article and its headline were updated with Lady Susan Hussey's resignation and other additional information.

Update 11/30/22, 8:10 a.m. ET: This article was updated with a Buckingham Palace statement.

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