Buckingham Palace and the Royal Family have found themselves at the centre of a racism row after a member of the household made inappropriate remarks to a charity boss. Lady Susan Hussey, the godmother of Prince William, has resigned from royal duties after admitting to asking Ngozi Fulani "where she really came from".
Ms Fulani was attending a reception at Buckingham Palace at the time, where a special event for domestic abuse was taking place. Also in attendance at the event was the Queen Consort and Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska.
The incident has caused uproar inside and outside of the Royal Family. Prince William’s spokesperson released a statement on the Prince’s behalf in which they 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.”
Ms Fulani has been open about her experience at Buckingham Palace. She described the encounter as a form of “abuse”.
But what else did she say about Lady Hussey and the situation? Here’s everything you need to know.
Who is Ngozi Fulani?
Ngozi Fulani, 61, co-founded the Sistah Space charity in 2015. Sistah Space is the only UK charity which specialises in offering support to female domestic violence victims from an African and Caribbean background.
Ms Fulani was born in the UK. Her parents were part of the windrush generation, having moved from Barbados to London in the 1950s.
The charity boss had completed a degree in African Studies at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and run an African dance group. However, it was following the murder of 45-year-old Valerie Forde and her 22-month-old daughter at the hands of Valerie’s ex-partner in 2014 that Ms Fulani changed course.
Ms Fulani, who was working as a marriage registrar at the time, was touched by the story and went onto train as a domestic violence advocate. She eventually stepped out and launched her own organisation, Sistah Space, to help support other women in the African and Caribbean communities going through domestic violence.
What has Ngozi Fulani said about her conversation with Lady Hussey?
Ms Fulani shared details of her interaction with the 83-year-old Royal Family member shortly after the reception at the palace had taken place. She tweeted that Lady Hussey had asked her “where she really came from” - when she replied “London”, Lady Hussey continued to press her to answer when she “first came here”.
Ms Fulani was taken back by the interaction, adding that she had “mixed feelings” about her time at the palace as a result. Her tweet quickly went viral and led to a response from Buckingham Palace and Lady Hussey herself.
The charity boss has since spoken about her experience in several interviews. She told the BBC she felt the conversation with Lady Hussey had amounted to “abuse”, adding that the interaction felt more like an “interrogation” in which she was being asked to “denounce her British citizenship”.
Speaking to BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, she 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?’"
After explaining that she was not criticising Lady Hussey’s age by revealing the conversation, she added: "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."
Lady hussey has since apologised in person to Ms Fulani for the interaction. Buckingham Palace confirmed that the two women had met, saying in a statement: “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. 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.”