An unfortunate turn of events. The royal family is allegedly “scrambling” after Lady Susan Hussey — Prince William‘s godmother and one of King Charles III‘s top advisors — resigned from her post amid allegations of racism.
“This latest scandal has Palace operatives scrambling to do damage control, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time,” royal expert Christopher Andersen exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, November 30, adding that Hussey, 83, was a close friend of the late Queen Elizabeth II and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Camilla. “She’s not a marginal player — she operates at the heart of the royal household.”
The King: Life of King Charles III author added that the scandal is likely “put a damper” on the Prince of Wales, 41, and Princess Kate‘s trip to Boston, which begins on Wednesday, as well as draw more attention to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s upcoming tell-all documentary. “It’s another PR disaster for the royal family — and with the release of the Sussexes’ documentary on December 8 and Harry’s tell-all book in January, the next couple of months are going to be tough for the Royal Family in general and the King in particular,” Andersen said.
He continued: “Many of the older royals are still unquestionably tone-deaf, and it remains to be seen what impact this will have on King Charles — and the monarchy.”
Earlier on Wednesday, domestic abuse activist Ngozi Fulani claimed via Twitter that she was asked racially insensitive questions by “a member of staff, Lady SH” during an event at Buckingham Palace one day earlier. “Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace. 10 mins after arriving, Lady SH approached me [and] moved my hair to see my name badge,” the Sistah Space founder wrote via the organization’s Twitter account.
She added that Hussey asked “where do you really come from?” and “what part of Africa are you from?” despite Funlani’s repeated assertions that she was born in the United Kingdom.
Buckingham Palace announced later that day that Hussey had resigned from her position amid the allegations. “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details,” a royal spokesperson said in a statement. “In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.”
The spokesperson continued: “In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect. All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”
Amid the scandal, a spokesperson for William and the Princess of Wales, 41, condemned the incident and voiced their support for Hussey’s resignation. “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.
Fulani, for her part, told The Guardian that she “never felt so unwelcome or so uncomfortable” as she did during her visit to Buckingham Palace.
“I was almost forced to say that I’m not really British,” she explained. “I don’t know what she meant by ‘my people’. It was incomprehensible for her to consider that I have British citizenship. When she heard my parents were from the Caribbean she said, ‘Finally we are getting somewhere.’ … It was overt racism.”
Despite the staffer’s offensive comments, the activist was disappointed that Hussey lost her job over the incident. “It’s tragic for me that it has ended that way. I would have preferred that she had been spoken to or re-educated,” Fulani told the outlet.