Charity founder Ngozi Fulani says she felt 'so uncomfortable' and 'violated' by the Buckingham Palace aide who made racist comments toward her
Ngozi Fulani told Insider about her encounter with a palace aide who asked her racist questions.
Fulani, a charity founder, said she felt "so uncomfortable" and "violated" by the experience.
"I think the institution needs to take a very good look at itself," she said.
Ngozi Fulani told Insider that she felt "violated" by the Buckingham Palace aide who asked — what Prince William's spokesperson called — racist questions about her nationality at a royal event on Tuesday.
Fulani is the CEO and founder of Sistah Space, a London-based charity that aims to support domestic abuse survivors of African and Caribbean heritage. Fulani and her daughter, Sistah Space's operations manager Djanomi, were attending an event hosted by Camilla, Queen Consort, to raise awareness of violence against women when the incident occurred.
Fulani initially shared her experience on Twitter on Wednesday, writing that a palace aide identified as "Lady SH" had asked her where she "really came from" and continued to question her about her nationality after she clarified that she was born in the UK. As of Thursday, the post has more than 63,000 likes and 14,800 retweets.
—Sistah Space (@Sistah_Space) November 30, 2022
In a statement shared with Insider on Wednesday, a palace spokesperson said that "unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made" and that the staff member "would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused" and had resigned from her honorary role.
A spokesperson for the Prince of Wales also responded to the resignation on Wednesday. Hussey is the godmother of Prince William and was one of Queen Elizabeth's closest confidantes.
"This is a matter for Buckingham Palace, but as the Prince of Wales' spokesperson, I appreciate you're all here and that you'll want to ask about it. So let me address this head on," a Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement at a media briefing during the Prince and Princess of Wales' trip to Boston, which was later shared with Insider.
"I was really disappointed to hear about the guest's experience at Buckingham Palace last night," the spokesperson said, adding: "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."
Speaking with Insider, Fulani said the incident at the palace made her "so uncomfortable" and that she felt "violated."
"I am very proud of my African and Caribbean heritage. That has to be made clear. But I am a British national, so why shouldn't I say that?" Fulani told Insider.
"Why do I have to come to this place and justify who I am?" she added. "I felt so uncomfortable and I wanted to leave, but I didn't because why should I?"
Although Fulani continued with the event and had conversations with multiple people, including the Queen Consort, she said she can't remember anything that was said after the incident with the aide.
"I felt so violated, that's all I can say. Because my guard was down," she said.
While the palace has not shared the staff member's identity, many outlets and one eyewitness, Mandu Reid, the leader of the UK Women's Equality Party, have reported the individual in question as Lady Susan Hussey, a former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II who began working at the palace in 1960.
Fulani told Insider that she won't confirm or deny the aide's identity, saying it was never her intention for a name to be released.
"I will never comment on an individual because I think that would make me just as bad as the other individual, if I'm supposed to be promoting the elimination of violence," she said.
This isn't the first time a member of the royal household has been accused of racism. Speaking to Oprah Winfrey in March last year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said an unnamed member of the royal family made racist comments about their son Archie's skin color before he was born.
At the time, a palace spokesperson responded with a statement saying the issues of race were "concerning" and would be addressed by the family privately.
Fulani told Insider that while she can't comment on the specific experience Meghan faced, she believes that both she and Meghan should be "listened to and actions should be taken."
"I think the institution needs to take a very good look at itself," Fulani said. "I believe when somebody says that they've experienced racism, I tend to believe it because in my experiences, it's not something that you want to share if it's not true."
Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Insider was unable to reach Susan Hussey for comment.
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