Royal race row charity boss slams Palace: ‘How hard is it to say sorry?’
The charity boss at the centre of a royal race row is accusing Buckingham Palace of not sending her a proper apology.
Ngozi Fulani, 62, publicly revealed her shock in November when the late Queen Elizabeth’s lady in waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, repeatedly asked her where she “really came from” at a Palace reception to spotlight violence against women, and has now said she is temporarily stepping down from her role as CEO of the domestic abuse charity Sistah Space.
She also told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on International Women’s Day on Wednesday (08.03.23) about being hit with “violence” in the aftermath of the incident: “We, the Sistah Space charity, has suffered as a result – direct result.
“When you think that this was supposed to be for violence against women and girls, because of this incident, the violence has been directed to me, the Palace hasn’t intervened, I think they could have.
“So what I’ve had to do, I’ve now temporarily stepped down as CEO of Sistah Space.
“I’m announcing that now because the service users and the community can’t access us properly.
“This whole thing has cost us a fortune because we had to pay our own PR to stop the press from coming up, it was horrible.”
Even though Ngozi met Lady Susan, 83, face-to-face in December to discuss the incident she also hit out at the Palace, despite it publicly issuing an apology to the charity boss.
She added on ‘GMB’: “Who are they apologising to? If you’re sorry, tell me you’re sorry – if you’re not, it speaks for itself.
“If you have to ask somebody for an apology, it is not an apology.
“I’m just making the point so that everybody understands, I don’t see what is so hard to say, ‘I’m sorry’.
“You sent me the invitation so you know how to find me. You know how to say sorry.”
It was reported in January Lady Susan will be invited to King Charles’ coronation in May despite the row with Ngozi.
After Ngozi tweeted about being quizzed about her nationality by the former royal aide, both Buckingham Palace and the Prince of Wales issued statements.
The Palace said about how Ngozi and Lady Susan had met in December for the first time since the controversy: “At this meeting, filled with warmth and understanding, Lady Susan offered her sincere apologies for the comments that were made and the distress they caused to Ms Fulani.
“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.”
Ngozi, who was born in Britain, previously said she felt “violated” after Lady Susan – who is Prince William’s godmother and served as the late Queen’s right-hand woman for 62 years – “interrogated” her about where she was from, despite her making clear she was British.
She accused Lady Susan of moving her hair in order to look at her name badge before she asked: “What part of Africa are you from?”
When the domestic violence campaigner said she was of Caribbean descent and African origin, Lady Susan said: “I knew we’d get there in the end.”
Ngozi’s posting of a transcript of the exchange on social media led Lady Susan to quit her role amid public outcry.
She added the experience, which happened 10 minutes after arriving for the November reception, left her “insulted” with “mixed feelings” about the royal visit and made her feel “very unwelcome”.
The Palace said it took the incident “extremely seriously” and Prince William’s Kensington Palace issued a statement branding it “really disappointing”, saying it was “right” Lady Susan had resigned.