Buckingham Palace household member resigns amid race comment

World

FILE – Charity leader Ngozi Fulani, centre left, attends a reception held by Britain’s Camilla, the Queen Consort to raise awareness of violence against women and girls as part of the UN 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, in Buckingham Palace, in London, Tuesday Nov. 29, 2022. An honorary member of the Buckingham Palace household has resigned after repeatedly asking a Black woman who runs a charity for survivors of domestic abuse what country she “really came from.’’ The conversation was detailed on Twitter by Ngozi Fulani, chief executive of Sistah Space, an east London refuge that provides specialist support for women of African and Caribbean heritage. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool, File)

LONDON (AP) — An honorary member of the Buckingham Palace household has resigned after repeatedly asking a Black woman who runs a charity for survivors of domestic abuse what country she “came from,” despite her insistence she was a British national.

The conversation was detailed on Twitter by Ngozi Fulani, chief executive of Sistah Space, an east London refuge that provides specialist support for women of African and Caribbean heritage.

The incident took place at a reception hosted by Camilla, the queen consort, for women working to fight domestic violence.

Fulani said that when she told a household member she was from east London, she was asked, “No, what part of Africa are YOU from?”

The palace said it took the incident extremely seriously and investigated the “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments.’’

Britain’s Press Association and a number of other media outlets in Britain identified the woman who made the remarks as Lady Susan Hussey, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady in waiting for more than 60 years. She is also a godmother to the Prince of Wales.

Fulani named the member of the palace household only as Lady SH. Buckingham Palace declined comment on the identity of the individual.

The incident will spark concern at the palace following allegations of racism by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who is married to Prince Harry. Meghan, a biracial American, last year said a member of the royal household asked her what color skin her baby would have when she was pregnant with her first child.

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