A black guest who was asked where she “really came from” by the late queen’s senior lady-in-waiting at a Buckingham Palace royal reception has said she has suffered “horrific abuse” on social media.
Ngozi Fulani, founder of the charity Sistah Space, said Susan Hussey moved her hair so she could see her name badge and then subjected her to what felt “like an interrogation” about where her “people” came from.
In a statement issued on Monday, Fulani said: “The last week has been an extremely difficult time for us all at Sistah Space. My team, family and I have been put under immense pressure and received some horrific abuse via social media. Yet throughout this time I have been heartened by the huge amount of support we have received.
“I want to thank everyone for that, and it has shown me that love will always triumph over hate.”
Lady Hussey, 83, resigned from her position as one of the ladies of the household, an honorary position, last week and offered her “profound apologies” for any hurt caused.
Fulani told ITV’s Good Morning Britain last week that although she didn’t experience “physical violence” she would describe her encounter as “a form of abuse”.
A spokesperson for the Prince of Wales, who is Lady Hussey’s godson, has previously said the comments were unacceptable and that “racism has no place in our society”. Buckingham Palace has described the remarks as “unacceptable and deeply regrettable”. The Mail reported on Saturday that Buckingham Palace had invited Fulani to meet the King and Queen to address the event.
Describing her interaction with the 83-year-old, Fulani said: “I was stood next to two other women – black women – and she [Susan Hussey] just made a beeline for me and she took my locks and moved it out of the way so that she could see my name badge.
“That’s a no-no. I wouldn’t put my hands in someone’s hair and culturally it’s not appropriate.”
Asked how she felt about Hussey’s resignation, Fulani said: “I want the focus to remain where it should be, which is on the women and girls who are affected by domestic abuse.
“Having said that, she’s influenced by Buckingham Palace, and it’s their decision and her decision to make, one that I had no part in.”
Fulani said the comments were down to racism, not Hussey’s age.
“I’ve heard so many suggestions it’s about her age and stuff like that and I think that’s a kind of a disrespect about ageism,” she said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“Are we saying that because of your age you can’t be racist or you can’t be inappropriate?”