‘What Part of Africa Are You From?’ Buckingham Palace Aide Resigns After Questioning Black Woman’s Heritage

by Xara Aziz

A Black activist advocating for domestic abuse victims is calling out a member of Buckingham Palace who questioned where she “really came from” at a Queen Consort reception earlier this week.

Ngozi Fulani, a top executive at Sistah Space, said the brief interaction she had with Lady Susan Hussey (Prince Williams’ godmother who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady in waiting for more than six decades) will “never leave me.”

The incident took place Tuesday during Camilla’s event on women against violence. Fulani says that during the conversation, Ms. Hussey asked her “where are you from?”

She responded: “Here. U.K.”

Hussey then further questioned: “No, but what nationality are you?”

“I am born here and am British,” Fulani replied.

“No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?” the lady pressed.

“Lady, what is this?” Fulani retorted.

She further went on to reveal that another household member questioned Fulani when she said she ran a charity based in Hackney. “No, what part of Africa are you from?” Fulani said the lady asked.

Fulani then went to Twitter approximately 10 minutes after the exchange to express her dissatisfaction with how she was treated during the event.

“Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace. 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,” she tweeted on her charity’s Twitter account.

The tweet quickly went viral leading Kensington Palace to release a statement.

“Racism has no place in our society” adding that the woman’s line of questioning was completely “unacceptable.”

Lady Hussey has since resigned from her role.

Fulani founded Sistah Space in 2015 to offer support and resources for African and Caribbean heritage women affected by abuse.

The non-profit executive thanked Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party and a senior executive of Safe Lives, Suzanne Jacob, for their support moments after the encounter.

Ms. Reid, the first Black person to lead a national political party in Britain, tweeted she had also heard the exchange.

“I was right there. I witnessed this first hand,” she tweeted. “We were at an event that was supposed to celebrate our work. For people like … people like us will never really belong here.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson 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.”

The exchange comes on the heels of a recent report revealing scathing details behind the harassment Meghan, Duchess of Sussex faced with her husband Prince Harry while she lived in the U.K.

Neil Basu, a former police chief in charge of royal protection at the Metropolitan police told Britain’s Channel 4 News Tuesday that they both faced “disgusting and very real” threats from extremists.

“If you’d seen the stuff that was written, and you were receiving it… you would feel under threat all of the time,” Basu said. “People have been prosecuted for those threats.”

While it has been no secret that she faced criticism from British press, the officer went into further detail about racist attacks against her, including filtering out the use of the n-word and guns and knives emojis on the royal couple’s social media accounts when she was pregnant with their first child.

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