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Apology Accepted after Royal racism row

A British charity operator has accepted an apology from a Buckingham Palace lady-in-waiting over a racially insensitive grilling she received at a function last month. Ngozi Fulani is chief executive of Sistah Space, a charity that supports African and Caribbean heritage women affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

She had been visiting Buckingham Palace last month when she was quizzed by 83-year-old Lady Susan Hussey, one of Queen Elizabeth II’s closest friends, about her ethnicity.

Ms. Fulani, reported that ten minutes after arriving at the royal residence for the event on November 29 she was approached by a woman who ‘put her hand in her hair’ in front of colleagues.

Lady Susan is reported to have asked “what nationality are you?”, “where do your people come from?” and “what part of Africa are you from?”

Ngozi says she replied: “I am a British national, my parents came here in the 1950s,” before Hussey responded with: “Oh, I knew we’d get there in the end, you’re Caribbean.”

After the exchange was posted on Ngozi’s Twitter account, Buckingham Palace released a statement condemning the “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” and confirmed the aide had “stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.”

Lady Susan was one of Queen Elizabeth II’s most trusted friends and is Prince William’s godmother. She accompanied the Queen and Prince Phillip on their last Royal Visit to Canada in 2010.

A joint statement from the Palace and Ms Fulani after the meeting at Buckingham Palace Friday said: “At this meeting, filled with warmth and understanding, Lady Susan offered her sincere apologies for the comments that were made and the distress they caused to Ms Fulani.”

“Lady Susan has pledged to deepen her awareness of the sensitivities involved and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the issues in this area.”

They added that Ms Fulani had “accepted this apology” and “appreciates that no malice was intended”. Lady Susan has also pledged to “deepen her awareness” of the “sensitivities involved”.

Ms Fulani and her charity received abusive messages from trolls on social media in the days that followed the revelations.

The statement from Buckingham Palace announcing the resolution reads in part:

“Ms Fulani, who has unfairly received the most appalling torrent of abuse on social media and elsewhere, has accepted this apology and appreciates that no malice was intended.

The Royal Households will continue their focus on inclusion and diversity, with an enhanced programme of work which will extend knowledge and training programmes, examining what can be learnt from Sistah Space, and ensuring these reach all members of their communities.

Both Ms Fulani and Lady Susan ask now that they be left in peace to rebuild their lives in the wake of an immensely distressing period for them both.

They hope that their example shows a path to resolution can be found with kindness, co-operation and the condemnation of discrimination wherever it takes root.”

The end of the controversy comes in the same week that the Sussexes, Harry and Meghan had the final three episodes of their tell-all Netflix documentary series released, in which allegations of racism were leveled at so far, unidentified members of the Royal Household.

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