Royal resignation as black woman is asked where ‘she’s really from’ at Buckingham Palace
30th November 2022

A prominent black advocate for survivors of domestic abuse has revealed that she was repeatedly asked by a member of the Buckingham Palace household where she “really came from” while attending the Queen Consort's reception.

Ngozi Fulani, chief executive of Sistah Space, described the conversation as a “violation” and said the experience at Camilla’s major engagement on violence against women on Tuesday will “never leave me”.

She said a household member challenged her when she said her charity was based in Hackney, saying: “No, what part of Africa are YOU from?”

Buckingham Palace has since announced that a member of the household has resigned from their and apologised for these “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments."

She detailed the full alleged conversation, which she said happened 10 minutes after she arrived, on Twitter, which included the exchange: “Where are you from?’

“Me: ‘Here, UK’. ‘No, but what nationality are you?’ Me: ‘I am born here and am British.’ ‘No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?’ Me: ”My people’, lady, what is this?’

“Oh, I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from.”

Sistah Space said they would not be naming the household member, adding: “We at Sistah Space would like to raise awareness about this issue rather than shame another individual.”

Ngozi, who founded Sistah Space in 2015 to provide specialist support for African and Caribbean heritage women affected by abuse, wrote: “Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace.

“10 mins after arriving, a member of staff … approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur.”

She thanked Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, and Safe Lives chief executive Suzanne Jacob for their support on the day. Mandu tweeted that she was present for the exchange.

Responding to messages of support Ngozi continued: “Standing there in a room packed with people while this violation was taking place was so strange, especially as the event was about violence against women.

“That feeling of not knowing what to do, will NEVER leave me. Almost alone in a room full of advocates.”

She said it was a “struggle to stay in a space where you were violated”.

She outlined her distress at not being able to report the incident, saying she felt she could not tell Camilla what had occured.

The alleged matter raises serious questions for the Palace, where an unnamed royal was accused last year by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex of racism against her unborn son Archie.

The former actress said that a member of the royal family, not the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh had expressed concerns with Harry about how dark Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

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