When Black charity founder Ngozi Fulani recounted her experience of being repeatedly asked where she was from by a Buckingham Palace aide, the Palace was quick to respond with a public statement and apology. However, their claim that they have “reached out” to Fulani and are “inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes” has created some confusion, with Fulani saying she has not heard from them.
Buckingham Palace issued a relatively substantial statement yesterday lunchtime offering an apology from a Palace aide after Fulani posted her account of their conversation on social media. She told how at a Palace reception on Tuesday she was asked by a household member—whom she referred to as Lady SH but has been subsequently named elsewhere— where she was really from after saying she was British. A source later said that the Palace had reached out through one of the organizations that Fulani is aligned with, but she told UK breakfast program Good Morning Britain today that she has not heard from them.
"Have you had any response directly from Buckingham Palace?” Presenter Kate Garraway asked. “No, so that’s surprised me,” Fulani, who founded domestic abuse charity Sistah Space, replied. “People keep saying the Palace has reached out to me. Nobody’s reached out to me.” “Have they reached out to the charity?” Co-presenter Ben Shephard asked. Fulani replied, “No. I don’t know where this has come from but I’m telling you categorically we have not heard from the Palace.”
Garraway asked Fulani if she would take up the invitation to go and discuss her experience, to which she replied, “What we’re about is positive results, so absolutely yes I think a discussion should be had and we’re very happy to have that discussion.”
She added about her experience, “While I didn’t experience physical violence, what I feel I experienced was a form of abuse.”
Fulani emphasized that she took time to make sure that the Palace aide was not asking her repeatedly because she could not hear. “I did what I could to make sure that this is what it appears to be. And I have clarity, that was racism.”
In addition to the Buckingham Palace statement, Prince William and Kate’s spokesperson addressed the matter ahead of their arrival in Boston yesterday. “Racism has no place in our society,” he said. “The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”
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