Black Guest at Buckingham Palace Receives Personal Apology From Former Insider After Racist Encounter

Black Guest at Buckingham Palace Receives Personal Apology From Former Insider After Racist Encounter

The late Queen Elizabeth II’s former lady-in-waiting Susan Hussey apologized to Sistah Space founder Ngozi Fulani in person on Friday, according to The Guardian after making a racist remark during a reception on Nov. 29.

The apology took place at Buckingham Palace in London.  

Hussey resigned from Buckingham Palace after repeatedly asking Fulani where she was from during a domestic violence awareness reception at the palace.  After Fulani responded for the second time that she was born in England and was British, the 83-year-old continued to ask the activist where she was “really” from.  

“No, but where are you really from?” she asked. “Where do your people come from?” 

“’My people,’” Fulani responded. “Lady, what is this?” 

“Oh, I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from,” Hussey said. “When did you first come here?” 

Fulani posted about the reception on social media where it went viral. Hussey apologized and immediately stepped down from her new role at Buckingham Palace as lady of the household. The domestic violence activist immediately began receiving threats and online abuse.  

A joint statement from Fulani and Buckingham Palace was released on Dec. 16 following the meeting.  

“At this meeting, filled with warmth and understanding, Lady Susan offered her sincere apologies for the comments that were made and the distress they caused to Ms. Fulani. Lady Susan has pledged to deepen her awareness of the sensitivities involved and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the issues in this area,” read the statement.  

“Ms. Fulani, who has unfairly received the most appalling torrent of abuse on social media and elsewhere, has accepted this apology and appreciates that no malice was intended. The royal households will continue their focus on inclusion and diversity, with an enhanced programme of work which will extend knowledge and training programmes, examining what can be learnt from Sistah Space, and ensuring these reach all members of their communities.” 

“Both Ms. Fulani and Lady Susan ask now that they be left in peace to rebuild their lives in the wake of an immensely distressing period for them both. They hope that their example shows a path to resolution can be found with kindness, cooperation and the condemnation of discrimination wherever it takes root. 

“It is the wish of both parties that, at the end of the UN’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, attention can now return to the important work of Sistah Space in supporting women affected by domestic abuse. Their majesties the king and the queen consort and other members of the royal family have been kept fully informed and are pleased that both parties have reached this welcome outcome.” 

Sistah Space is a charitable organization in London that offers support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Fulani also shared the statement on Instagram with a caption.  

“A heartfelt thank you to all those who have held us up in this difficult time and through the subsequent fall out. Especially those in the Black community who may have been directly affected. Sending love to all ❤️.”