The Prince and Princess of Wales’ first trip abroad since the Queen’s death has been overshadowed by domestic controversy.
William and Kate arrived in Boston yesterday, starting a three-day visit earth prizePrince’s Environmental Awards, Friday.
A few hours ago, the prince’s godmother resign At Buckingham Palace after repeatedly asking a black visitor “where the hell is she from”.
A Kensington Palace spokesman, who spoke to William before boarding the flight, called Dame Susan Hussey’s comments “unacceptable” and that “racism has no place in our society”.
He added that Mrs Hussey, 83, was right to immediately resign from her honorary duties as lady of the household.
The monarchy has faced allegations of institutional racism since British-born charity boss Ngozi Fulani revealed what happened at an event at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
Lady Hussey, who has waited more than 60 years as Queen’s Maid, has “deeply apologized” for the hurt she has caused.
William focused on the Earthshot Awards as he greeted the crowd in Boston, saying, “We’re all looking forward to spending the next few days learning about the innovative ways the people of Massachusetts are tackling climate change.”
Racial Equity Lecture
Yet the royal couple sat through an awkward speech on racial equality when a black priest presented the prince with an award in Town Hall Square.
The Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, the city’s director of environment, energy and open space, urged listeners to “consider the legacy of colonialism and racism.”
“The way it affects people all over the world, and how it’s linked to the degradation of the land and the planet that we’re all seeking to reverse, it’s deeply connected,” she said.
“Stories of loss, species gone extinct, and the persistence of people in the face of oppression and the fundamental dignity of all our relationships.”
She added that under the leadership of Mayor Michelle Wu, Boston is committed to addressing climate change “in a way that puts justice at its core.”
“Justice for our environment, our workers and all residents regardless of race and economic status,” she said.
“We are leading the change to mitigate the threat of climate change while creating a prosperous green economy and reducing economic and racial injustice.”
william and kate boos
The trip also included an NBA game, and as William and Kate sat courtside to watch the game, they were booed by a small crowd around the stadium as the announcer introduced them and played it on the big screen.
At one point, some fans in the crowd could be heard chanting “USA, USA” as the couple appeared on a screen in center court.
The White House has confirmed that the royal couple will meet with President Joe Biden later this week.
Analysis: William and Kate will try to win back to US
The timing couldn’t be worse.
William and Kate have not been to the United States for eight years, a time that has seen dramatic changes in the monarchy.
It is also the first time Prince Harry and Meghan have been in the US since they left the UK for California.
“What’s happened in Britain over the past 24 hours has presented William and Kate with a truly golden opportunity,” said Arianne Chernock, professor of British history at Boston University. “If they made their own public statement in Boston, it would really resonate with the American public.”
This is their chance to rebuild ties with the American royal family.
Millions of people around the world watched Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah, and the aftermath damaged the royal family’s image.
The recent racist disputes have done little to fix that, especially in the US.
Autumn Brewington, Washington Post royal columnist, said: “This is not the kind of thing they want to happen at the start of the tour.” It could also be the hesitation of the royal family to act on what they say.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming Netflix series and the release of Harry’s much-hyped memoir will soon make more headlines.
The visit by the Prince and Princess of Wales was supposed to help the royal family regain its footing in the US.
It also provides them with a world stage to support causes they care about.
Their activities in Boston are based on climate change, disadvantaged youth, sports and early years.
Professor Chernock said: “This is a very important moment for this couple that can fundamentally reset and signal the place of the royal family for years to come.”
Boston has a deep historical connection to the royal family, it was the birthplace of the American Revolution and remains fascinated by the British monarchy.
Looking forward to seeing the Prince and Princess of Wales try to win back the US.
Charity boss reacts to resignation
Buckingham Palace said yesterday it took the incident “very seriously” and described Mrs Hussey’s comments as “unacceptable and deeply regrettable”.
Ms Fulani is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and described the exchange as “aggression” and “interrogation”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Thursday, she said she tried to keep her from suspicion when Mrs Hussey began questioning her.
“At the time, I wondered, could she—because she kept asking me the same question—couldn’t hear me clearly? Because when you’re thinking, you have a lot of things to think about and maybe Your older people talk to…
“But it quickly became clear to me that it had nothing to do with her ability to understand, but it was her attempt to get me to really condemn my British citizenship.”
The chief executive of Sistah Space told LBC that “no one in the palace has spoken to me” but that she would be “happy to have a conversation to reach a positive resolution”.
Reflecting further, she said: “Honestly, I wish I could have spoken to this woman and understood the damage she’s done, preferably not head-on.
“But she resigned, it had nothing to do with me. I don’t feel good about it. She’s the elder and in my culture we respect people.
“There needs to be a dialogue with the people involved so that this doesn’t happen again.”
Last year, the Duchess of Sussex claimed a member of the royal family had raised concerns what color skin Her son Archie would have had it before he was born.
Royals must ‘step up’
Mandourid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who was standing next to Fulani and witnessed the exchange, said she was “shocked”.
“It’s really uncomfortable. If Ngozi had been a white woman, this kind of issue couldn’t have happened. It’s not what you expect,” she told Sky News.
“We’re not interlopers, but we almost feel like interlopers.”
Asked if Mrs Hussey’s stepping down and apologizing reassured her, she said no – the royals needed to “step up” and acknowledge “institutional racism is part of the culture”.