TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ngozi Fulani: Lady Susan Hussey's race comments were abuse, says charity boss

Ngozi Fulani: Lady Susan Hussey's race comments were abuse, says charity boss

A black British charity boss who was repeatedly asked where she was "really" from at a royal reception has told the BBC the encounter was "abuse".

Ngozi Fulani was questioned about her background by Lady Susan Hussey, Prince William's godmother, at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. The late Queen's lady-in-waiting has since resigned.

Ms Fulani likened the conversation with Lady Hussey, 83, to "an interrogation".

The palace described the remarks as "unacceptable and deeply regrettable".

And a spokesperson for Prince William said "racism has no place in our society". The incident has overshadowed the Prince and Princess of Wales's visit to the US to hand out awards for his Earthshot Prize.

Ms Fulani was a guest at the reception representing domestic violence charity Sistah Space when she described Lady Hussey moving her hair to see her name badge, and then challenging her repeatedly to explain where she was from.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Fulani said: "It was like an interrogation. I guess the only way I can explain it, she's determined: 'Where are you from? Where are your people from?'"

Ms Fulani also rebuffed suggestions that Lady Hussey's remarks had anything to do with her age.

"Let us be clear what this is. I've heard so many suggestions it's about her age and stuff like that, and I think that's kind of a disrespect - an ageism kind of thing.

"I have to really question how this can happen in a space that's supposed to protect women against all kinds of violence.

"Although it's not physical violence - it is an abuse."

Ms Fulani continued: "If you invite people to an event, against domestic abuse, and there are people there from different demographics, I don't see the relevance of whether I'm British or not British.

"I'm very proud of my African heritage. This is like the Windrush thing to me. You're trying to make me unwelcome in my own space."

She added she felt like she was being asked to "denounce my British citizenship".

Rishi Sunak said the UK must "continually learn the lessons" from acts of racism. The prime minister said it "wouldn't be right" for him to comment on the incident at the palace, adding "they've acknowledged what's happened and made an apology for it".

Asked about his own experiences, Mr Sunak said that while he had experienced racism, the country had made "incredible progress".

"But the job is never done," he added, "and that's why whenever we see it we must confront it and it's right that we continually learn the lessons and move to a better future."


Lady Susan Hussey was a key and trusted figure in the British royal household for decades

Lady Hussey was a key figure in the Royal Household for many decades, having started working for the Royal Family in the same year the Queen gave birth to Prince Andrew in 1960, eventually becoming her longest-serving lady-in-waiting.

Buckingham Palace announced last week that Lady Hussey and the other former ladies-in-waiting would subsequently be known as "ladies of the household" - a role which involves helping to host occasions at the palace.

Asked if she had wanted Lady Hussey to resign or if she would have been content with an apology, Ms Fulani said: "I would have preferred it did not happen...

"I have to keep the focus where it should be and that's against violence against women and girls."

An eyewitness to the conversation, leader of the Women's Equality Party Mandu Reid, told BBC News that Lady Hussey's questions had been "offensive, racist and unwelcoming".

Nazir Afzal, former chief prosecutor of the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) who was also at the reception, said Lady Hussey also asked him about his heritage once and "seemed to accept my answer - Manchester currently".

The now chancellor of the University of Manchester added "racism is never far away".

Lady Hussey, in the back row of this family photograph taken in March 1997, wearing a green suit, was one of the late Queen's most trusted confidantes


In its statement on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace said: "We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details.

"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."

A spokesperson for Prince William said "racism has no place in our society", adding: "The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect".

Ngozi Fulani - pictured on the far left - was one of the campaigners attending a reception which was hosted by the Queen Consort (centre)


Ms Fulani later told BBC News: "Now, violence isn't always physical, it can be verbal.

"And that felt like violence to me, and when you put your hand in my hair like I'm not even a person - you can just do what you want and say what you want - I don't want to be in your presence."

In an interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Ms Fulani also said Buckingham Palace had not contacted her about the incident, insisting she would accept an invitation to discuss it with them.

"See, what we're about is positive results, so absolutely, I think a discussion should be held," she said.

Ms Fulani, who was representing her charity which supports women of African and Caribbean heritage across the UK who have faced domestic and sexual abuse, was one of 300 guests at the event where the Queen Consort, Camilla, had warned of a "global pandemic of violence against women".

BBC News has approached Lady Hussey for comment through Buckingham Palace.

Here is the full conversation, as recounted by Ms Fulani:


Lady SH: Where are you from?

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, the 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...


Watch: Rishi Sunak reflects on his own experiences of racism amid royal race row


Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×