A meeting “filled with warmth and understanding” has taken place between Prince William’s godmother and the charity founder she repeatedly asked where she really came from.
Lady Susan Hussey offered her “sincere apologies” to Ngozi Fulani for her comments and “the distress” they caused her, and pledged to deepen her awareness of the sensitivities involved.
Lady Hussey, 83, stepped down from her role in Buckingham Palace after the racism row this month, having asked Ms Fulani such questions as “what part of Africa do you come from?”.
Ms Fulani, the founder of Sistah Space, and Lady Susan have asked to be “left in peace to rebuild their lives in the wake of an immensely distressing period for them both”.
A statement released jointly by Buckingham Palace and Ms Fulani said: “A meeting took place this morning, 16 December, at Buckingham Palace between Ms Ngozi Fulani, founder of Sistah Space, and Lady Susan Hussey to address the incident that took place at a Palace reception last month.
“At this meeting, filled with warmth and understanding, Lady Susan offered her sincere apologies for the comments that were made and the distress they caused to Ms Fulani.
“Lady Susan has pledged to deepen her awareness of the sensitivities involved and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the issues in this area.
“Ms Fulani, who has unfairly received the most appalling torrent of abuse on social media and elsewhere, has accepted this apology and appreciates that no malice was intended.
“The Royal Households will continue their focus on inclusion and diversity, with an enhanced programme of work which will extend knowledge and training programmes, examining what can be learnt from Sistah Space, and ensuring these reach all members of their communities.
“Both Ms Fulani and Lady Susan ask now that they be left in peace to rebuild their lives in the wake of an immensely distressing period for them both.
“They hope that their example shows a path to resolution can be found with kindness, co-operation and the condemnation of discrimination wherever it takes root.
“It is the wish of both parties that, at the end of the UN’s 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, attention can now return to the important work of Sistah Space in supporting women affected by domestic abuse.
“Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort and other members of the Royal Family have been kept fully informed and are pleased that both parties have reached this welcome outcome.”
Following the incident, Ms Fulani told Sky News that she felt abused, verbally attacked and “trapped” by the encounter, and described the exchange as a “violation”.
“I was not giving the answer that she wanted me to give. And so we could not move on,” Ms Fulani said. “And it was when she said ‘I knew you’d get there in the end’ – that proved to me, you were determined to prove that I had no right to British citizenship.
“Now, that reminds me of the Windrush conversation, where 50 or 60 years on people who were born here, worked here or you know, have given so much, can just be thrown out.”
A week after the incident, Ms Fulani revealed that she and staff at her charity had undergone “an extremely difficult time” and received “horrific abuse on social media”.