Ngozi Fulani faces online abuse after royal race row

 (Ngozi Fulani/Getty)
(Ngozi Fulani/Getty)

The charity boss at the centre of the latest royal racism row has been the victim of vicious online abuse in the wake of the comments, and has said this is what happens when a Black woman attempts to address adversity.

Sister Space CEO Ngozi Fulani, 61, spoke publicly of her shock at being asked where she “really came from” at a royal reception last Tuesday by the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting.

Lady Susan Hussey, Prince William’s 83-year-old godmother, resigned from the household and apologised after she repeatedly challenged Ms Fulani when she said she was British at the Queen Consort Camilla’s reception highlighting violence against women and girls.

The incident sparked outrage and intense media commentary around the world with some attacks aimed at Ms Fulani, who runs a domestic abuse charity geared at helping Black women.

In a statement issued through Mediazoo, a public relations agency, Ms Fulani said: “What took place at the event is now well-documented, and sadly is something that occurs on an all too regular basis.

“Incidents like this not only cause emotional harm to those involved but do also have wider repercussions within the community.

“I have experienced first-hand what happens when a Black woman faces adversity and has to overcome additional barriers when trying to report it. This is at the heart of what we do at Sistah Space, and it has reiterated to me just how important the work we do is.”

The last week has been an extremely difficult time for Ms Fulani and the Sistah Space team, the statement continued.

“My team, family and I have been put under immense pressure and received some horrific abuse via social media.

“Yet throughout this time I have been heartened by the huge amount of support we have received. I want to thank everyone for that, and it has shown me that love will always triumph over hate.”

Adding that she “will go to Buckingham Palace, or anywhere else, if it will help raise positive change and save lives,” Ms Fulani said, “it has been an emotional whirlwind and we now wish to take the time to pause, reflect and learn from these events.”

Commenting on how the events of the last week have “taken the focus away from the day-to-day operations of Sistah Space”, the CEO said she will not be commenting further on the issue but will instead focus on the remainder of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism and continuing important charity work.

Prince William, who is on a trip to Boston in the US with the Princess of Wales, backed the decision of his godmother to resign as a Lady of the Household on Wednesday.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson 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.”

The King, who acceded to the throne less than three months ago, and Camilla have been made aware of the situation, the palace said.

But former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: “Charles and William’s problem is that the focus is already shifting from the actions of one woman to broader questions about whether Buckingham Palace is institutionally racist.”

Ms Fulani told The Independent in a global exclusive following the incident: “This is bigger than one individual. It’s institutional racism.

“What’s the lesson here? What protects us, Black people, from that treatment? This incident is unfortunate and shows that nothing has changed.”