"Racism has no place in our society."
Prince William and Kate Middleton are aware of the racist incident involving a former Buckingham Palace staff member. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, a royals staffer resigned after allegedly making racial comments to domestic abuse activist, Ngozi Fulani, at a palace charity event. This prompted William and Kate’s spokesperson to condemn the allegations in a Nov. 30 statement.
“I was really disappointed to hear about the guest’s experience. Racism has no place in our society. These comments were unacceptable and it’s right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect,” the representative said, per People.
People also reported Prince William became aware of the incident while on a flight to Boston. The royal couple is currently on a three-day visit to the city for the Earthshot Prize Awards on Dec. 2 where they’re the guests of honor.
The controversy began on Nov. 30, when Fulani alleged on Twitter that a staff member questioned her heritage at an event the day prior. The event was hosted by the Queen Consort Camilla Parker-Bowles and spotlighted violence against women. It came as part of the United Nations’ 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Fulani, a Black British woman, appeared at the event on behalf of her charity Sistah Space, an organization that provides support to African and Caribbean women affected by domestic abuse. Fulani alleged the staff member — whom she identified as “Lady SH” in her tweet — repeatedly asked where she was from.
Initially, Fulani responded she was there to represent Sistah Space. However, after identifying herself as British-born, she said the staffer asked her, “What part of Africa are YOU from?”
In a follow-up tweet, Fulani said she does not want to reveal the full identity of the staffer. “Yes the person was offensive, but it serves no purpose to name & shame her, it would make us just as bad. We prefer that this be handled kindly,” she wrote.
Following Fulani’s post, Buckingham Palace released a statement acknowledging the incident. “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, according to British journalist Omid Scobie. “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 Palace also said the staff member in question has apologized for her harmful actions. “All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times,” the Palace said.
On Dec. 1, Fulani told Good Morning Britain that she nor Sistah Space have heard from the Palace, but is open to having a discussion with them regarding the incident.
Neither the Palace or Prince William and Kate’s spokesperson publicly named the staffer. However, according to CNN, British media have reported the now-resigned staffer is Susan Hussey. Hussey held the Lady in Waiting title to the late Queen Elizabeth II and is Prince William’s godmother, per Newsweek.