A Buckingham Palace aide has resigned after allegedly making racist comments during an event Queen Consort Camilla Parker-Bowles held to support women-run charitable organizations and raise awareness about domestic violence.
Queen Consort’s Event For Domestic Violence Charities
Parker-Bowles’ event was one of her first big events in her new role as Queen Consort. The reception was held to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, as part of the U.N.’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
The reception was touted as a major success for Parker-Bowles, but was quickly overshadowed by accusations of racism from one of the event’s guests. Ngozi Fulani is the head of Sistah Space, a charity for women of African and Caribbean heritage across the UK who are dealing with domestic and sexual abuse.
Allegations Of Racist Questioning Of One Guest
Fulani tweeted an account of what took place, writing, “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.”
She also posted a transcript of the conversation, claiming that this aide asked her “what part of Africa” she was from and wouldn’t stop questioning her until Fulani shared that, while she’s a British citizen, her parents immigrated to the UK.
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Mandu Reid, who was also in attendance at the reception, backed up Fulani’s allegations. According to BBC, she said that she had a “sense of incredulity” about the aide’s persistent questions, and branded the interaction “offensive, racist and unwelcoming.”
Buckingham Palace’s Response
Buckingham Palace quickly responded to Fulani’s allegation, releasing a statement that reads: “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details. In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made. We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.”
The statement continued, “In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect. All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”
Parker-Bowles’ event was an admirable way to raise awareness and support women’s charities. It’s unfortunate that it was marred by these accusations, but many are applauding Buckingham Palace for their swift response.