News ID: 109653
Publish Date : 02 December 2022 - 22:28

At Buckingham Palace, Racial Abuse Keeps Brewing

LONDON ((Dispatches) - A member of the British royal family’s household has left her role after making “unacceptable and deeply regrettable” comments about race and nationality to a woman at a grand reception at Buckingham Palace, sending the Buckingham Palace into a new scandalous episode of racism.
The controversy erupted on Tuesday during an event hosted by King Charles’s wife Camilla to highlight violence against women and girls.
Ngozi Fulani, who was born in Britain and works for a domestic abuse support group, wrote on Twitter that about 10 minutes after she arrived at the Buckingham Palace, an aide to late Queen Elizabeth II approached her and moved her hair to view her name badge.
After being asked a number of times what part of Africa she was from, Fulani said she replied, “I am born here and am British.”
The aide responded, “No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”
“But this is her trying to make me really denounce my British citizenship,” Fulani said, as many other Britons of color shared similarly demeaning experiences on social and traditional media. The exchange, she said, left her with “mixed feelings” about the reception.
British media outlets all quoted palace sources as confirming it was Lady Susan Hussey who made the remarks. Hussey, 83, whose late husband was a former BBC chairman, was not just any courtier – she was at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for six decades.
Women’s Equality Party leader Mandu Reid, who witnessed the exchange, called it “grim” and like an “interrogation.”
Labor MP Diane Abbott, the first Black woman to sit in the House of Commons when she was elected in the 1980s, said it was “really shocking” that a Black Briton’s identity could be interrogated in this way.
The episode is the most serious controversy yet since Charles succeeded his mother in September.
It comes against the backdrop of racism claims from Prince William’s brother Harry and mixed-race sister-in-law, Meghan.
The subjects of race and racism and inclusion and diversity have become very difficult territory for the royals – particularly after suggestions by Harry and Meghan of prejudice within the Royal Family and Royal Household. Last year, William said, “We are very much not a racist family,” after Harry and Meghan alleged that an unidentified royal had asked what skin color their baby would have.