LONDON. The shadow of racism, or at least some old traces of die-hard prejudice, once again embarrasses the British court. This time it was an elderly lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, historical friend and confidant of the late Queen Elizabeth, who was forced to cover her head with ashes and resign after yesterday scandalizing a black-skinned guest – in the midst of a reception offered yesterday by the queen consort Camilla on the sidelines of the International Day against Sexual Violence – with pressing questions and inappropriate tones about her ethnic origins. The episode – made public by the victim – led Buckingham Palace to act not even 24 hours after the incident. With a curt note in which she let it be known that the culprit apologized “from the bottom of her heart” for her “unacceptable comments” and renounced the position of honor.
Initially the name of the reprobate was kept secret. But it soon jumped out, adding embarrassment to embarrassment: given the notoriety of Hussey, an 83-year-old aristocrat with family ties to Tory political circles, widow of a former BBC president and figure very close to the Windsor house for decades as a lady of court. Very faithful to Elizabeth II, Lady Susan was in the past chosen as one of the godmothers of Prince William, the current heir to the throne; her and remained at the side of the matriarch of the dynasty until the last of her, accompanying her last year in the sad farewell to the prince consort Philip; attending in the front rows at Elizabeth’s own funeral in September; and remaining confirmed in the role at court even after the death of the sovereign, pending the definitive entry into force of the reform desired by Camilla and Charles III which in fact will result in the abolition of the ladies-in-waiting of the palace as permanent figures linked to the centuries-old tradition of the British monarchy.
An epilogue that for her however comes in the form of an inglorious farewell, due to a fall in style due to age, preconception, a moment of peevish stubbornness or who knows what else. Loss of style which in any case resulted in an unsustainable bad figure for Charles and Camilla, against the background of an appointment in which personalities such as Queen Rania of Jordan, the royal princess of Denmark, the Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska had been invited to the palace , leading exponents of the British female world engaged in politics or in civil society. In addition to her own godson William, who intervened after the fact through a spokesman to assure an increasingly multi-ethnic kingdom that “racism has no more place in society” today.
The case was sparked by Ngozi Fulani, present at the event promoted by Camilla as head of a charitable organization in London, the Hackney Charity Sistah Space, which gives support to immigrant women who are victims of domestic abuse. Fulani told on social media that she was abruptly approached by the lady of the court and run over under the eyes of at least two “bewildered” witnesses by a barrage of questions. As in a sort of petulant questioning about her “roots”, despite repeated attempts to explain that she felt British, having mixed blood in her veins – African, Caribbean and Anglo-Saxon – and having been born in England: where the family transferred 70 years ago, well before he was born. Exchange of jokes that perhaps would have been forgiven to the late Prince Philip, protagonist in distant times of similar ‘gaffe’; but on which today’s court – against the background of the memory also of the controversies unleashed on the subject of suspicions of racism in the Royal Family by the rebel princes Harry and Meghan after their transfer to the USA – did not want to make concessions. Even at the cost of having to humiliate Elizabeth’s lifelong friend.