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‘There is no place for racism,’ says Britain’s Prince William, amid row over racism at palace

origin 1FILE: Ngozi Fulani, center left, attends reception at Buckingham Palace with Queen Consort Camilla, to raise awareness of violence against women and girls November 29, 2022 ©AP Photo

Britain’s Prince William said ‘racism has no place in our society’ as his godmother stepped down from her role in the royal family over an argument against racism.

Lady Susan Hussey, 83, stepped down on Wednesday as an honorary member of the royal family after the chief executive of an east London women’s shelter said Hussey repeatedly asked her where she ‘really came from’ after that she had told the old woman that she was British.

The exchange came at a reception at Buckingham Palace for those working to end domestic violence, hosted by Camilla, the queen consort.

“Racism has no place in our society,” Prince William’s office at Kensington Palace said in a statement.

“These comments were unacceptable, and it is fitting that the individual stepped down with immediate effect.”

The incident reignited allegations of “institutional racism” at the palace on the first day of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ visit to Boston. While the trip is centered around the Earthshot Prize, William’s initiative to support entrepreneurs working on solutions to climate change and other environmental problems, the royal couple are also looking to show that the monarchy remains relevant in a multicultural world.

The episode recalls last year’s comments by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in a interview with American TV host Oprah Winfrey. Meghan, a biracial American married to William’s brother, said a member of the royal family inquired about the skin color of her baby when she was pregnant with her first child.

origin 1Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales watch the NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022 in Boston.BRIAN SNYDER/AP

The latest incident was detailed by Ngozi Fulani, chief executive of Sista Spacea shelter in east London that provides specialist support to women of African and Caribbean descent, detailed its exchange with a member of the royal family in a lengthy Twitter post.

Fulani said when he told the woman he was from east London, she replied, “No, what part of Africa are you from?”

The questioner has since been identified as Hussey, who served as a lady-in-waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth II for more than 60 years and is one of William’s godmothers. She apologized for “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

But the incident comes at an important time for the royal couple: their first overseas trip in eight years and their first since becoming Prince and Princess of Wales following the Queen’s death.

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The highlight of the three-day visit to Boston will come on Friday when William hosts the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, presided over by entertainers including Billie Eilish.

But the trip will also include visits to an anti-poverty program, child development researchers and local flood defenses, demonstrating the couple’s commitment to important issues facing the modern world.

The visit comes less than three months after the death of Elizabeth II, whose personal popularity dampened criticism of the crown during her 70-year reign. King Charles III, William’s father, has made it clear that his monarchy will be streamlined, with less pomp and ceremony than his predecessors.

William and Kate arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport Wednesday, where they were greeted by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. The couple later attended a Boston Celtics basketball game.

Upon landing, William thanked local residents “for their many tributes paid to the late Queen,” noting that his grandmother remembered her 1976 bicentennial visit to Boston “with great affection.”