Fulani said that a member of staff from the royal household approached her, brushed aside her hair to see her name badge, and asked her: “Where do your people come from?”
She detailed the alleged conversation in post on social media, where she said she was challenged when she said her charity was based in Hackney, an area in east London.
Mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit to Buckingham Palace. 10 mins after arriving, a member of staff, Lady SH, approached me, moved my hair to see my name badge. The conversation below took place. The rest of the event is a blur.
Thanks @ManduReid & @SuzanneEJacob for support🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/OUbQKlabyq
— Sistah Space (@Sistah_Space) November 30, 2022
She was allegedly asked: “No, what part of Africa are YOU from?”
Fulani said she responded, more than once, that she was British. Asked “when did you first come here,” she responded: “Lady! I am a British national. My parents came here in the 50s.”
When the staffer responded, “Oh, I knew we’d get there in the end. You’re Caribbean,” Fulani responded, “No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.”
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said that they “investigated immediately” and that “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” were made. They said that they reached out to Fulani and were “inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.”
The spokesperson said that the member of the royal household who had the conversation “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.’
The palace has been rocked by allegations of racism before. During Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 they claimed that they had been asked how dark their son Archie’s skin would be. They refused to say who made the comment, but added that it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip.
The palace responded to those claims saying they were “concerning” and would be “taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
Prince William later told reporters that the royals were “very much not a racist family.”