Royal Lady-in-Waiting Resigns After Harassing a Black Guest With Racist Questions

The Palace responded: "Unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made."

queen consort camilla
(Image credit: Getty)

Lady Susan Hussey, a Palace aide and lady-in-waiting, has resigned after harassing a Black guest with a racist line of questioning.

Ngozi Fulani, the founder of charity Sistah Space, attended a reception at Buckingham Palace this week, and detailed the day's events on Twitter.

"Mixed feelings about yesterday's visit to Buckingham Palace," she wrote. "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"

The transcript Fulani shared reads as follows:

Aide: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space.
Aide: No, where do you come from?
Me: We’re based in Hackney.
Aide: No, what part of Africa are YOU from?
Me: I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records.
Aide: Well, you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, UK
Aide: NO, but what Nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.
Aide: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
Me: 'My people', lady, what is this?
Aide: 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…
Aide: 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.
Aide: Oh, so you’re from…

Hussey was previously described by Tatler as Queen Elizabeth II's "most loyal lady-in-waiting." After Elizabeth's death Hussey continued working for the palace as an aide to Camilla, the Queen Consort.

Express further reports that Hussey is one of Prince William's godparents.

Buckingham Palace responded within hours of Fulani's original post. "We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full facts. In this instance unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made. We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and we are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes," they said (via the Guardian).

"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."

Following the incident, royal expert Omid Scobie tweeted, "A speedy response from the Palace, who have a history of silence or denial for incidents regarding race. Lessons finally learned? Or is this just not wanting anything to overshadow the Wales' Boston visit. Arriving in the US amidst another race scandal wouldn't be the best start."

Prince William and Princess Kate arrive in Boston today.

Activist and royal commentator Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu expressed her anger at the events. "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told you of racism in Royal Family & household. But she was vilified, abused & violated for speaking the truth," Dr. Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted.

"Ngozi Fulani’s experience with Lady Susan Hussey wasn’t isolated, one off or a 'bad apple' at Buckingham Palace.

"You can’t reform this."

During Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's March 2021 Oprah interview, the couple claimed that a member of the Royal Family had speculated about Archie's skin color while the duchess was pregnant. This prompted Prince William to say the royals are "very much not a racist family."

These latest events caused #AbolishTheMonarchy and #RacistRoyalFamily to trend on Twitter in the U.K.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.