Black charity founder claims she was victim of ‘prolonged racism’ at hands of Prince William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey but says she did NOT want her be sacked – as fellow guest says it felt like an ‘interrogation’

  • Lady Susan Hussey, 83, was Queen’s Lady in Waiting kept on by Queen Consort
  • Ngozi Fulani, boss of London charity Sistah Space, was at reception yesterday 
  • Fulani said royal aide asked ‘where are you really from’ when she said ‘Hackney’

The British-born black charity founder who was asked by royal aide Lady Susan Hussey ‘What part of Africa are you from?’ said she was subjected to ‘prolonged racism’.

Ngozi Fulani, who created Sistah Space, said she was offended by the remarks but did not want Lady Hussey – who is Prince William’s godmother – to lose her job.

But that is what happened today as the remarks at the Buckingham Palace reception exploded in public.

Ngozi told the Mirror: ‘What she did was racism. Through and through. It was prolonged racism.

Ngozi Fulani seen at a reception at Buckingham Palace, London, last night at the big event

Baroness Hussey of North Bradley, the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, pictured back in 2016

‘The fact that it was just done in the open in front of people, on a day when we should be working towards violence against women.’

She added she felt ‘very unwelcome’ and ‘attacked’ but added that she did not want Lady Hussey to lose her job.

The racism row blew up today as it emerged that Ngozi was repeatedly asked ‘where are you really from’ by the Queen Consort’s lady-in-waiting Lady Hussey at the Buckingham Palace reception.

The domestic abuse charity founder tweeted about the incident this morning

Ms Fulani said she had been ‘insulted’ by a palace aide who she accused of asking ‘where she was really from’ when she said she was from Hackney

Charity founder at centre of Palace race row previously said ‘Meghan is a survivor of domestic violence from her in-laws’ and said she admired Duchess for ‘speaking out’ 

The charity founder at the centre of the latest palace race row is a campaigner who has  previously accused the Royal Family of ‘domestic violence’ against Meghan Markle.

Ngozi Fulani, director of the east London charity Sistah Space, was asked by Queen Consort Camilla’s aide Lady Susan Hussey ‘what part of Africa are you from?’ – despite having been born and raised in Britain.

Buckingham Palace said the comments were ‘unacceptable and deeply regrettable’, while Lady Susan has apologised and stepped down from her honorary post.

Ms Fulani, whose charity works with women with African and Caribbean heritage who have suffered violence at home, has previously accused the Royal Family of ‘domestic violence’ against Meghan Markle.

She made the claim in March 2021, just after Piers Morgan resigned from Good Morning Britain after saying he did not believe Meghan’s claims about her requests for mental health treatment being refused by palace officials.

Ms Fulani tweeted: ‘Our charity supports black women DV survivors. I can’t stay silent about this. I admire Meghan for speaking out. According to clear definition, it seems Meghan is a survivor of DV from her in-laws. Ps, I’m glad hypocrite Piers left ITV.’

The campaigner, who has a BA in African Studies at SOAS, University of London, has also worked as a specialist advocate for domestic violence victims.

In an interview with the Guardian in 2020, she suggested black women were not reporting their abusers because they were worried about them being killed by police.

‘Women want the abuse to stop but we know what happens to black men in police custody,’ she said. ‘These women do not want to risk their abusers being hurt or murdered.’

In an online profile, Ms Fulani described how she grew up in Kilburn, north London, as one of seven children as the ‘only black family on our road’.

Her mother worked for London Transport before training as a nurse, while her father was a railway worker before providing sound systems to parties in the evening.

Describing the racism they experienced, Ms Fulani said: ‘Our lives were about him moving around, moving around playing music at house parties, because we were not allowed in main venues.

‘Black people were not allowed. No dogs, No Blacks, No Irish. We had to cram people in rooms at house parties, and we were very aware from the get-go that even though we were born here, we were not welcome.’

She also described the discrimination black people faced in wider society, including being called ‘w***’ and facing violence at the hands of the police.

‘Police beating black people was a national sport,’ she wrote. ‘Police will not talk about this. I don’t know anyone over the age of fifty who has siblings or parents who hasn’t experienced police brutality.

‘Groups of police would go out and beat black people to hell. My brothers came home from school with their faces swollen. People here held contempt for us, and they still do.’

Ms Fulani said her ‘life changed’ when she joined an African dance group as a teenager.

‘To hear Africans with strong accents, learn about the food and the drumming touched my heart and took me to a place I had never been,’ she wrote.

‘It was everything for me and I had never felt so free as when I was listening to those drums. It was all so beautiful, the clothes, the beads, the cowrie shells, and the stories.’

Concluding the piece, she added: ‘Nothing has changed. It’s just different. The racism is just as intense, the hate is still there. I keep my truth.’

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.’


Lady Hussey – Queen Elizabeth’s Lady in Waiting for 62 years – has since resigned her post and Buckingham Palace has launched an investigation.

Mandu Reid, of the Women’s Equality Party, who was part of the conversation between Lady Hussey and Ms Fulani, said: I think the Royal Household needs to be given cultural competence training.’

Ms Reid said:’ None of us could believe what was being said and I can tell you it was Lady Susan Hussey as she had a name badge on.

‘It felt as if Ngozi was being interrogated and that at any point all three of us, there was another black woman called Daisy there, would be asked for our IDs.

‘Lady Susan persisted in her tone of questioning just as Ngozi described and she just kept asking ‘where are you from ?’ and ‘where are your people from ?’

‘She made us feel as if we were trespassers as what should have been a very joyful event to which we had been invited to and to celebrate the work we have done.

‘I can tell you that I’m certain there is no way she would have asked those sort of questions and taken that line of questioning if Ngozi was a white woman.’

When asked if she thought the Royal Household were racist Mandu replied: ‘I think they do have a problem and you have to wonder if Meghan Markle was right and also the things you heard about the royals.

‘It’s such a shame because what happened left us all totally gobsmacked and I think the Royal Household needs to be given cultural competence training.

‘To be honest it felt really hostile there and that left us all disappointed and we were gobsmacked after she just wondered off when she had finished asking her questions.

‘It made us feel as if we were not welcome there and I know she has stepped down from her position but I would prefer her to step up and for the Royal Household to look at the people it is employing.

‘I know we are going to hear it’s an isolated incident but you are left wondering is it really ?

‘The whole system needs to be looked at. You hear about the Royal Family and the Commonwealth and then you have episodes like this.

‘I’ve spoke to Ngozi briefly today and she is still quite shocked at what happened and she doesn’t feel good about it and neither do I.’

The row emerged hours before the Prince and Princess of Wales took off for Boston for a three-day trip to the US culminating with a possible meeting with  President Joe Biden and the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony on Friday.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who released their latest Invictus Games trailer today, made headlines around the world when they accused a senior member of the royal family of being racist towards Archie and his skin colour during their 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Camilla gave a speech at yesterday’s event for 300 people where she vowed to speak out about the ‘global pandemic of violence against women’ in a watershed speech at Buckingham Palace yesterday. 

She was watched by two other Queens – Rania of Jordan and Mathilde of Belgium – Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and the Countess of Wessex. Other ambassadors included Spice Girl Melanie Brown and Love Island star Zara McDermott who have campaigned on issues including domestic abuse and revenge porn.

Also in the room was Ms Fulani, who said on Twitter today that she had been ‘insulted’ by a palace aide who she accused of asking ‘where she was really from’ when she said she was from Hackney.

The royal aide, later claimed to be Lady Hussey, then allegedly said: ‘No but where do you really come from? Where do your people come from? When did you first come here?’

Ms Fulani claims she then said: ‘Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50s’, to which the woman replied: ‘I knew we’d get there in the end. You’re Caribbean’. Ms Fulani replied: ‘No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality’.

Sharing her experiences, the Sistah Space founder said: ‘Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace. 10 mins after arriving, a member of staff approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The rest of the event is a blur’.

She said: ‘It was such a shock to me and the other two women that we were stunned to temporary silence. I just stood at the edge of the room, smiled and engaged briefly with who spoke to me until I could leave.

‘Standing there in a room packed with people while this violation was taking place was so strange, especially as the event was about violence against women’.

She added: ‘My children and grandchildren were proud though, in my parent’s time, black people were only allowed in to those spaces to serve. Kind of glad my folks were not around to witness this violation.

‘I let my guard down. Never again. It was such a struggle to stay in a space that you were violated in.

Queen Consort Camilla also hosted Queen Rania of Jordan and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark at yesterday’s Buckingham Palace reception 

King Charles III was spotted this afternoon on a visit to a Ukrainian church in London 

‘I think it is essential to acknowledge that trauma has occurred and being invited and then insulted has caused much damage’.

She thanked Ms Reid and Safe Lives chief executive Suzanne Jacob for their support on the day.

Ms Reid, the first person of colour to lead a national political party in British history, also tweeted that she had heard the exchange.

‘I was right there. I witnessed this first hand,’ she said. ‘We were at an event that was supposed to celebrate our work.

‘For people like … people like us will never really belong here’.

Meghan and Harry’s favoured journalist Omid Scobie was quick to pick up on the claims about racism at the Palace, tweeting: ‘Yesterday’s event should have been a moment to uplift and support.

‘The fact that Fulani—a prominent figure providing the only safe space in Britain for Black survivors of domestic violence—was made to feel this way by a senior Palace aide is unforgivable’.

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