Charity boss at centre of royal race row pleads for focus to remain on domestic abuse work


Lady Susan Hussey resigned following the incident at a Buckingham Palace reception.

Asked how she felt about Lady Susan quitting, the chief executive of Sistah Space urged for the focus to remain on domestic abuse survivors.

Ms Fulani told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I want the focus to remain where it should be, which is on the women and girls who are affected by domestic abuse.

“Having said that, she’s employed by Buckingham Palace, and it’s their decision and her decision to make, one that I had no part in.”

On if she would have preferred to accept Lady Susan’s apology instead of seeing her quit, Ms Fulani said: “I would have preferred it did not happen.

“I would have preferred that I could go to a space where I’m invited and be treated as every other guest was treated.

“I would prefer that we kept the focus on the abuse against women and girls.”

Ngozi Fulani

Ngozi Fulani said that the focus should remain on domestic abuse survivors (Image: PA)

The Royal Household has work to do to dispel allegations of racism, says RICHARD PALMER

This is the last thing the Royal Family needed after the racism allegations leveled at the House of Windsor by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It’s a PR disaster for the new King and Queen and threatens to overshadow the Prince and Princess of Wales’s first trip to the US for eight years.

The domestic abuse campaigner described the exchange at the Queen Consort’s reception on violence against women on Tuesday as “like an interrogation”.

Asked how it unfolded, she said: “I guess the only way I can explain it, she’s determined: ‘Where are you from? Where are your people from?”

“At that time, I’m thinking to myself, is it that she – because she keeps asking me the same question – could it be that she can’t hear me well?

“Because you have to consider so many things when you’re talking to someone who may be older than you.

“But it soon dawned on me very quickly that this was nothing to do with her capacity to understand, but this is her trying to make me really denounce my British citizenship.”

Lady Susan Hussey

Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting resigned from her newly appointed post of lady of the household (Image: GETTY)

Who is Lady Susan Hussey?

Lady Susan Hussey was a close friend of Queen Elizabeth II, and had been since Prince Andrew’s birth in 1960.

Known as one of the Queen’s Ladies in Waiting, Lady Susan served the Queen for more than 60 years.

Her duties included

  • Responding to letters
  • Aiding the Queen with daily activities
  • Helping the Queen bathe and dress

Lady Susan was a key staff member part of the so-called ‘HMS bubble’ during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She accompanied the Queen during Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.

Lady Susan was married to the late BBC chairman Marmaduke Hussey and is the fifth and youngest daughter of the 12th Earl Waldegrave and Mary Hermione, Countess Waldegrave.

She is godmother to Prince William, and has been dubbed “Number 1 head girl” at Buckingham Palace.

In the Queen’s 2013 Birthday Honours, Lady Susan was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO).

The royal racism row erupted after Ms Fulani took to Twitter on Wednesday to share details of the conversation at the reception.

Ms Fulani said “Lady SH” repeatedly asked her where she “really came from” when she said she was British.

Lady Susan yesterday resigned from her position as one of three ladies of the household to which she was newly appointed to help the King at formal occasions and apologised for making the “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments”.

Buckingham Palace said it took the incident – which comes just months into Charles’s reign – “extremely seriously” and had investigated immediately.

Buckingham Palace reception

The incident took place at the Queen Consort’s reception on violence against women on Tuesday (Image: GETTY)

It said in a statement: “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.”

Prince William, whose trip with Kate to the US for the Earthshot Prize awards has been overshadowed by the row, is understood to agree it was right for his godmother to resign.

A Kensington Palace said: “Racism has no place in our society. The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”


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