In an effort to keep the controversy surrounding his godmother’s treatment of a Black advocate for victims of domestic abuse from overshadowing his visit to the United States, Prince William’s office declared that “racism has no place in our society.”
Lady Susan Hussey, 83, resigned on Wednesday from her position as an honorary member of the royal family after the head of a women’s shelter in east London claimed that Hussey repeatedly questioned her about her “really coming from” after learning that she was British. The discussion took place at a reception held at Buckingham Palace for those fighting domestic violence.
His Kensington Palace office declared that racism had no place in our society. “These remarks were unacceptable, and it’s appropriate that the person has resigned with immediate effect.”
The incident occurred on the first day of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ visit to Boston, reigniting claims of “institutional racism” at the palace. The royal couple is attempting to demonstrate that the monarchy is still relevant in a multicultural world, even though the trip is centered on the Earthshot Prize, William’s initiative to support entrepreneurs working on solutions to climate change and other environmental problems.
The episode serves as a reminder of the duchess of Sussex’s remarks from an interview she gave to American TV personality Oprah Winfrey last year. When she was expecting her first child, Meghan, a biracial American who is married to William’s brother, claimed that a member of the royal family enquired about the skin tone of her unborn child.
The most recent incident happened on Tuesday at a reception Camilla, the queen consort, hosted for women fighting domestic violence.
In a lengthy Twitter post, Ngozi Fulani, the chief executive of Sistah Space in east London, which offers specialized support for women of African and Caribbean heritage, described her conversation with a member of the royal family.
Fulani claimed that the woman asked, “No, what part of Africa are YOU from,” after hearing that she was from east London.
Hussey, one of William’s godmothers and the lady in waiting for the late Queen Elizabeth II for more than 60 years, has since been identified as the person who asked the question. She has apologized for “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
However, the incident occurs just as the royal couple is embarking on their first international trip in eight years and their first since they were made Prince and Princess of Wales after the queen’s passing.
The Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, which will be hosted by William on Friday and feature performers like Billie Eilish as the headliners, will be the high point of the three-day trip to Boston.
However, the trip will also take the couple to child development researchers, local flood defenses, and an anti-poverty program, highlighting their commitment to pressing issues facing the contemporary world.
The visit occurs less than three months after Elizabeth’s passing, whose personal popularity during her 70-year reign muted criticism of the monarchy. William’s father, King Charles III, has made it clear that his monarchy will be more streamlined than previous ones, with less ceremony and pomp.
William and Kate arrived on Wednesday at Boston Logan International Airport, where they were welcomed by Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts, and Karyn Polito, the lieutenant governor. Later, the couple goes to see the Boston Celtics play basketball.