UK Royal aide forced to resign over racist treatment of Black palace guest

UK Royal aide forced to resign over racist treatment of Black palace guest

The “racist hypocrisy” of the Royals once again shocked people of colour worldwide as backlash erupted, and Buckingham Palace scrambled to do a clean up after.

The subject of racial distinction among the class of the British royals, their future with the Commonwealth, and Britain’s relations with its former colonies has once again come into the spotlight with fresh controversy fueled by the racist jibes made by Prince William’s ‘godmother.’

Lady Susan Hussey, 83, who was Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting for 60 years and was next to become “lady of the household” at Buckingham Palace, was asked to quit after she made racists comments to one of her guests, Ngozi Fulani, 61, the Black leader of Sistah Space at the reception hosted by the queen consort Camilla.

“What part of Africa are you from?” Fulani, the founder of the Hackney-based charity Sistah Space, was asked by baroness who served as a Woman of the Bedchamber for over 60 years at Buckingham Palace.

Royals Family’s Black guest was left traumatized and disgruntled after the longtime Royal aide went as far as moving her guest’s hair to reveal her name badge, and continued to heckle her where “her people” descended from. Fulani was subjected to this discriminatory treatment, even as she had initially clarified that she was, very much, a British national.

Fulani detailed the incident on Twitter: “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,” she wrote, and continued describing the exchange as follows:

  • Me: Sistah Space.
  • SH: No, where do you come from?
  • Me: We’re based in Hackney.
  • SH: No, what part of Africa are YOU from?
  • Me: I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records.
  • SH: Well, you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?
  • Me: Here, UK
  • SH: NO, but what Nationality are you?
  • Me: I am born here and am British.
  • SH: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
  • Me: ‘My people’, lady, what is this?
  • SH: Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from. When did you first come here?
  • Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50s when …
  • SH: Oh, I knew we’d get there in the end, you’re Caribbean!
  • Me: No Lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.
  • SH: Oh, so you’re from …”

As the incident gained traction in the press about the Royals and their treatment of Black people, a spokesperson for the Prince of Wales, Lady Hussey’s godson, came forward on Thursday and acknowledged that the comments made to the Black leader at the event were “unacceptable.”

“Racism has no place in our society,” Hussey’s godson Prince William’s spokesperson told British reporters, in a press call. Prince Wales’ spokesperson noted in the statement, on behalf of William: “I was really disappointed to hear about the guest’s experience. Racism has no place in our society. These comments were unacceptable and it’s right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”

But the “racist hypocrisy” of the Royals once again shocked people of colour worldwide as backlash erupted, and Buckingham Palace scrambled to do a clean up after. Even as Hussey resigned from her position with immediate effect, her racially-charged comments wouldn’t be the first-of-a-kind or much rather a “rare” happenstance at the Royal Palace.

History of racist gaffe by Royals

Late Queen Elizabeth’s husband, who died at the age of 99 and was known as the longest-serving consort, was racial gaffe-prone. An umpteen times, the Duke of Edinburgh stirred controversy with his derogatory and rude quips during his nine decades reign as the Royal. “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian,” the then Prince casually hurled a racist and anti-Indian offensive verdict about a fuse box during a tour of a Scottish factory in August 1999. And then, he dragged the United States cowboys. “I meant to say, cowboys. “I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up,” he said in his racially discriminatory jibe.

“There’s a lot of your family in tonight,” he had retorted glancing at Indian business chief Atul Patel’s name badge during a 2009 Buckingham Palace reception. At the event 400, British Indians had gathered to meet the Royals, and the Duke of Edinburgh greeted them with what was later slammed as “racism.” He wasn’t known to go easy on the Russians, either. “I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family,” he spoke of the Slavs. “Do you still throw spears at each other?” Philip told Aboriginal dancers on a 2002 trip to Australia, turning heads.

The most popular racial jibe made by the Duke of Edinburgh, although, was him enquiring with his Black Conservative Lord Taylor of Warwick: “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?” His peer replied: “Birmingham.”The Chinese weren’t spared from the royal consort’s racist jibes list, as he warned a group of British exchange students in Xian in 1986: “If you stay here much longer you will all be slitty-eyed.”

It is to be noted that in the wide-ranging interview with host Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle also claimed they had been mistreated by the royal family and were subjected to racist abuse. Speaking at their home in California, the Duchess of Sussex told Winfrey that an unnamed Royal had asked what will be the colour of Prince Harry and her firstborn child.

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