UK royal aide says sorry to charity boss over race comment

Lady Susan Hussey offered "sincere apologies" to Ngozi Fulani at Buckingham Palace meeting, officials say

LONDON (AP) — A royal aide who resigned after asking a Black British charity director where she was “really” from at a palace reception apologized in person Friday and promised to educate herself about racism.

Royal officials said Lady Susan Hussey “offered her sincere apologies” to Ngozi Fulani during a meeting at Buckingham Palace “filled with warmth and understanding.”

“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,” the palace said in a statement.

Charity leader Ngozi Fulani, center left, attends a reception held by Britain’s Camilla, the Queen Consort in Buckingham Palace, in London, Tuesday Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool, File)

It said Fulani, who founded the women’s refuge Sistah Space, “has accepted this apology and appreciates that no malice was intended.”

The initial conversation happened last month at a reception hosted by Camilla, the queen consort, for women working to fight domestic violence. On social media, Fulani described her shock at being asked “what part of Africa” she was from.

Hussey, 83, who served for decades as a lady in waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth II, resigned her honorary royal position after the incident.

The palace statement, issued on behalf of Hussey and Fulani, condemned the “appalling torrent of abuse on social media and elsewhere” directed at Fulani, and said it had been an “immensely distressing period” for both parties.

King Charles III and the royal family are pleased at the “welcome outcome,” the palace said.

Last year, Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, a biracial American, said a member of the royal household asked her what color skin her baby would have when she was pregnant with her first child.

Britain’s royal family is once again under intense scrutiny because of a six-part Netflix documentary about Harry and Meghan, in which the couple blame the royal household and the British media for their decision to quit royal duties in 2020 and move to California.

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