Charity boss in royal row says she didn’t want lady-in-waiting to quit

Ngozi Fulani says she hasn't been contacted by the Palace

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The charity boss at the centre of a royal racism row has insisted that she didn’t want Lady Susan Hussey to step down. Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting yesterday resigned from her newly appointed post of lady of the household after repeatedly asking black British-born guest Ngozi Fulani at a Buckingham Palace reception where she “really came from”.

But Ms Fulani today said she did not want Lady Susan to resign from her honorary role.

The chief executive of Sistah Space BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I want the focus to remain where it should be, which is on the women and girls who are affected by domestic abuse.

“Having said that, she’s employed by Buckingham Palace, and it’s their decision and her decision to make, one that I had no part in.”

Asked if she would have preferred to accept Lady Susan’s apology instead of seeing her quit, Ms Fulani said: “I would have preferred it did not happen.

“I would have preferred that I could go to a space where I’m invited and be treated as every other guest was treated.

“I would prefer that we kept the focus on the abuse against women and girls.”

The domestic abuse campaigner described the exchange at the Queen Consort’s reception on violence against women on Tuesday as “like an interrogation”.

Asked how it unfolded, she said: “I guess the only way I can explain it, she’s determined: ‘Where are you from? Where are your people from?”

“At that time, I’m thinking to myself, is it that she – because she keeps asking me the same question – could it be that she can’t hear me well?

“Because you have to consider so many things when you’re talking to someone who may be older than you.

“But it soon dawned on me very quickly that this was nothing to do with her capacity to understand, but this is her trying to make me really denounce my British citizenship.”

Lady Susan, 83, served as the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years and is the Prince of Wales’s godmother.

She resigned from her position as one of three ladies of the household to which she was newly appointed to help the King at formal occasions and apologised for making the “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” after the royal racism row erupted.

It came after Ms Fulani took to Twitter on Wednesday to share details of the conservation.

Ms Fulani said “Lady SH” repeatedly asked her where she “really came from” when she said she was British.

Buckingham Palace said it took the incident – which comes just months into Charles’s reign – “extremely seriously” and had investigated immediately.

It said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Prince William, whose trip with Kate to the US for the Earthshot Prize awards has been overshadowed by the row, is understood to agree it was right for his godmother to resign.

A Kensington Palace 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.”

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