The late Queen’s lady-in-waiting, who has resigned and apologised for “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” made to a Black advocate for survivors of domestic abuse, once reportedly advised Meghan Markle.
Lady Susan Hussey, 83, who is a godmother to Prince William, served the late Queen for more than 60 years. During her time in the role, the palace aide was reportedly directed by Buckingham Palace to help the Duchess of Sussex settle into royal life prior to and after her wedding to Prince Harry, according to Tom Bower, author of Revenge: Meghan, Harry And The War Between The Windsors.
Bower claims the royal aide had her doubts about the couple’s relationship, alleging in the book released earlier this year that Lady Susan once claimed the Sussexes marriage would “all end in tears”.
The comment was allegedly made while Lady Susan was having lunch with a group of theatre executives a few months before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding in May 2018, according to the DailyMail.
“While discussing the possibility that Meghan might become associated with the National Theatre after the wedding, Hussey became unexpectedly serious about the couple’s future,” Bower wrote. “That will all end in tears.”
“Mark my words,” Lady Susan is alleged to have added.
Despite her alleged concerns about the couple’s future, Bower claimed Lady Susan was part of a team of aides instructed by the Palace to help Meghan settle into royal life.
Bower says Lady Susan’s work included visiting Meghan at Nottingham Cottage, the home on the grounds of Kensington Palace where she and Harry lived after their engagement in 2017. The couple later moved to Frogmore Cottage in spring 2019, before relocating to Canada, and then California.
As for Meghan’s reaction to the proffered help, Bower claimed the duchess was reportedly “insistent” she would not allow the Palace to dictate her “thoughts or activities,” per the DailyMail.
On Wednesday 30 November, Lady Susan, who was confirmed to the PA news agency as the person who made the remarks, resigned from her role in the Palace over comments she made to Ngozi Fulani, chief executive of Sistah Space, during the Queen Consort’s reception on violence against women on Tuesday.
In a Twitter post, Fulani claimed she was asked by the member of palace staff: “Where do you really come from?” and “What part of Africa are you from?”
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.
Thanks @ManduReid & @SuzanneEJacob for support🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/OUbQKlabyq
— Sistah Space (@Sistah_Space) November 30, 2022
Lady Susan, who was appointed to an honorary role as one of three Ladies of the Household, to which she was newly appointed to help King Charles III at formal occasions, was invited to and on duty at the reception.
Buckingham Palace did not confirm the identity of the aide. It did, however, release a statement saying the individual concerned “would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect”.
“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 Palace said. “In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect. All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”
The Independent has contacted Buckingham Palace and a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for further comment. The Independent has been unable to reach Lady Susan for comment.