William and Kate arrive in US as prince stays away from race issues | UK news

The Prince and Princess of Wales’ first trip abroad since the Queen’s death has been overshadowed by domestic controversy.

William and Kate arrived in Boston yesterday for a three-day visit ahead of Friday’s Earthshot Prize, an environmental awards ceremony honoring the Prince.

Hours earlier, the prince’s godmother resigned from her role at Buckingham Palace after repeatedly asking a black visitor “where is she really from”.

Ngozi Fulani, CEO of Sistah Space
Ngozi Fulani
Mrs Susan Hussey
Mrs Susan Hussey

A Kensington Palace spokesman, who spoke to William before boarding the flight, called Dame Susan Hussey’s comments “unacceptable” and that “racism has no place in our society”.

He added that Mrs Hussey, 83, was right to immediately resign from her honorary duties as lady of the household.

The monarchy has faced allegations of institutional racism since British-born charity boss Ngozi Fulani revealed what happened at an event at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Lady Hussey, who has waited more than 60 years as Queen’s Maid, has “deeply apologized” for the hurt she has caused.

William focused on the Earthshot Awards as he addressed the crowd in Boston, saying, “We’re all looking forward to spending the next few days learning about the innovative ways the people of Massachusetts are tackling climate change.”

The White House has confirmed that the royal couple will meet with President Joe Biden later this week.

File photo of Ngozi Fulani, center left, dated November 29, 2022, at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London.The prominent black advocate for domestic violence survivors has revealed how she was questioned repeatedly by a Buckingham Palace family member at the Queen Consort's reception "really from". Release date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
Ngozi Fulani (centre left) and the queen (centre) at the palace on Tuesday

Analysis: William and Kate will try to win back to US

Laura Bendock

royal correspondent


The timing couldn’t be worse.

William and Kate have not been to the United States for eight years, a time that has seen dramatic changes in the monarchy.

It is also the first time Prince Harry and Meghan have been in the US since they left the UK for California.

“What’s happened in Britain over the past 24 hours has presented William and Kate with a truly golden opportunity,” said Arianne Chernock, professor of British history at Boston University. “If they made their own public statement in Boston, it would really resonate with the American public.”

This is their chance to rebuild relations with the American royal family.

Millions of people around the world watched Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah, and the aftermath damaged the royal family’s image.

The recent racist disputes have done little to fix that, especially in the US.

Autumn Brewington, Washington Post royal columnist, said: “This is not the kind of thing they want to happen at the start of the tour.” It could also be the hesitation of the royal family to act on what they say.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming Netflix series and the release of Harry’s much-hyped memoir will soon make more headlines.

The visit by the Prince and Princess of Wales was supposed to help the royal family regain its footing in the US.

It also provides them with a world stage to support causes they care about.

Their activities in Boston are based on climate change, disadvantaged youth, sports and early years.

Professor Chernock said: “This is a very important moment for this couple that can fundamentally reset and signal the place of the royal family for years to come.”

Boston has a deep historical connection to the royal family, it was the birthplace of the American Revolution and remains fascinated by the British monarchy.

Looking forward to seeing the Prince and Princess of Wales try to win back the US.

Fulani reacts to resignation

Buckingham Palace said yesterday it took the incident “very seriously” and described Mrs Hussey’s comments as “unacceptable and deeply regrettable”.

Ms Fulani is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and described the exchange as “aggression”.

The chief executive of Sistah Space told LBC that “nobody in the palace has spoken to me” but that she would be “happy to have a conversation to reach a positive resolution”.

Reflecting further, she said: “Honestly, I wish I could have spoken to this woman and understood the damage she’s done, preferably not head-on.

“But she resigned, it had nothing to do with me. I don’t feel good about it. She’s the elder and in my culture we respect people.

“There needs to be a dialogue with the people involved so that this doesn’t happen again.”

Last year, the Duchess of Sussex claimed a member of the royal family raised concerns about the color of her son Archie’s skin before he was born.

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Hussey ‘interrogated’ Fulani – witness

Royals must ‘step up’

Mandourid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who stood next to Fulani and witnessed the exchange, said she was “stunned”.

“It’s really uncomfortable. If Ngozi had been a white woman, this kind of issue couldn’t have happened. It’s not what you expect,” she told Sky News.

“We’re not interlopers, but we almost feel like interlopers.”

Asked if Mrs Hussey’s stepping down and apologizing reassured her, she said no – the royals needed to “step up” and acknowledge “institutional racism is part of the culture”.

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