"Where do you really come from?" Lady Susan Hussey asked Ngozi Fulani
Lady Susan Hussey, a longtime aide to Queen Elizabeth II, has resigned from palace duties after offending the CEO of a black women's charity with supposedly racist remarks. Buckingham Palace called her comments about the CEO's nationality "unacceptable and deeply regrettable."
Ngozi Fulani claimed on Wednesday that a certain "Lady SH" approached her at a palace event the day before, touched her hair, and asked her "where are you from?" Fulani, who was born in Britain but is of African and Caribbean descent, said that she was British, to which Hussey allegedly replied "no, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?"
Aged 83, Hussey was a close confidant of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and had been appointed 'Lady of the Household' by King Charles after the queen's death in September.
Despite serving the royal family since 1960, Hussey resigned on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Prince William said that it was "right" that she resign, while Buckingham Palace called her comments "unacceptable and deeply regrettable," and passed her apologies on to Fulani.
Fulani herself has appeared extensively on British television and in print media in the wake of the incident, accusing the royal family of perpetuating "institutional racism," describing her encounter with Hussey as "traumatic," and offering what she called "anti-racism" training to the palace.
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While a palace source told the Independent that it would "work with" Fulani and "express apologies in person," Hussey has found some defenders in the media. Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt chalked the entire scandal up to Hussey's age and the fact that she grew up in an era of different social norms, while Reform Party founder Nigel Farage called Fulani an "anti-royal, anti-British Marxist" who "planned this right from the very start."