Prince William's godmother, Lady Susan Hussey, has reportedly stepped down from her role in the royal household after she allegedly made a racist comment during a pace reception Queen Camilla hosted. William, who is arriving in Boston for his first trip to the U.S. since 2014 on Wednesday, condemned the "unacceptable" comments from Hussey. Buckingham Palace also launched an investigation into the incident on Wednesday, reports ABC News.
Ngozi Fulani, the founder of the nonprofit Sistah Space, wrote on Twitter that Hussey repeatedly asked her where she was from during a reception Queen Camilla hosted at the palace. "What part of Africa are you from?" Hussey allegedly asked, according to Fulani's tweet. Fulani told Hussey she was from the U.K. "Oh, I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you're from," Hussey replied, according to Fulani. "When did you first come here?"
Mixed feelings about yesterday's visit to Buckingham Palace. 10 mins after arriving, a member of staff, Lady SH, approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur.— Sistah Space (@Sistah_Space) November 30, 2022
Thanks @ManduReid & @SuzanneEJacob for support🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/OUbQKlabyq
"Mixed feelings about yesterday's visit to Buckingham Palace," Hussey wrote. "10 mins after arriving, a member of staff, Lady SH, approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur."
In a follow-up message, Sistah Space thanked people for their support and did not wish to identify the person who made the offensive comments. "Yes the person was offensive, but it serves no purpose to name & shame her, it would make us just as bad. We prefer that this be handled kindly," the statement reads.
A spokesman for Prince William condemned Hussey's comments and said the Prince of Wales approved of Hussey's decision to resign. "I was really disappointed to hear about the guests' experience at Buckingham Palace last night," the spokesperson told reporters, reports The Daily Mail. "Obviously, I wasn't there, but racism has no place in our society. The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect."
Hussey was one of Queen Elizabeth II's longest-serving ladies-in-waiting, a role that evolved into a personal assistant for the monarch. After Queen Elizabeth died, Queen Camilla ended the lady-in-waiting role. She instead chose to have lady companions, one of whom is Hussey's daughter. On Wednesday, Buckingham Palace confirmed Hussey left her "honorary role."
"We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details," the palace said. "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."
The royal institution has long faced allegations of racism, most notably in March 2021. In Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle revealed that a member of the royal family wondered what the skin color of their son Archie would be because Markle is biracial. In 2016, when Harry and Markle were still dating, Harry released a statement condemning the "racial undertones" of the negative press coverage about the former actress.