Friend of Lady Susan Hussey says racism row is 'hard to believe'

Mr Harrold said he witnessed Lady Hussey being a loyal servant to the Queen for many years.

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A friend and former colleague of Lady Susan Hussey says it’s “hard to believe” she has been caught up in a racism row.

Former Royal Butler Grant Harrold, who knows Lady Hussey well, told GB News this morning (Thursday): “I’ve known her from quite a young age, not only working with her. When I was a teenager, when I wrote to the Queen looking for a position, she was the Lady who actually wrote back to me. So we spoke about that and we kind of built a working relationship. So I knew her and I liked her.

“This is why it was a bit of a surprise, obviously, to hear these comments. You know, it's not acceptable, regardless of who you are. But from my point of view, it was surprising because being around her and seeing how she works, it just was out of character. It's quite hard to believe and you have to pinch yourself a little bit that it’s happening.”

A friend and former colleague of Lady Susan Hussey says it’s “hard to believe” she has been caught up in a racism row.
A friend and former colleague of Lady Susan Hussey says it’s “hard to believe” she has been caught up in a racism row.

Mr Harrold said he witnessed Lady Hussey being a loyal servant to the Queen for many years.

And he says he's been left confused as to how she’d found herself embroiled in such a mess.

“Lady Susan has been doing this job for decades," he pointed out. "She’d be at the side of the Queen and she’d be the one often stepping forward asking questions. She hasn't been doing this for five minutes. I can understand things can go wrong if you're quite new in a position, but this is a Lady that's very well experienced which is why I'm so confused.”

Lady Hussey yesterday apologised and resigned after it emerged she’d repeatedly asked a black British charity boss where she was "really" from.

Grant Harrold joined Isabel and Andrew on Breakfast
Grant Harrold joined Isabel and Andrew on Breakfast

Ngozi Fulani, a charity founder, was questioned about her background at the charity event at the palace on Tuesday.

Ms Fulani, said she was "totally stunned" by Prince William's godmother's comments.

The palace described the remarks as "unacceptable and deeply regrettable".

A spokesperson for Prince William said "racism has no place in our society".

"The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect," they said.

Lady Hussey, 83, was a close confidante of the late Queen and accompanied her at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh last year.

She was a key and trusted figure in the Royal Household for decades, and part of her latest role had involved helping to host occasions at Buckingham Palace.

Ms Fulani later said the issue was "bigger than one individual. It's institutional racism".

"I was in shock after it happened and anybody who knows me knows I don't take this kind of nonsense," she said.

"But I had to consider so many things. As a black person, I found myself in this place where I wanted to say something but what happened would automatically be seen as my fault, it would bring [my charity] Sistah Space down.

"It would be 'oh, she has a chip on their shoulder'."

Ms Fulani said she did not want to see Lady Hussey "vilified".

An eyewitness to the conversation claimed Lady Hussey's questions had been "offensive, racist and unwelcoming".

The leader of the Women's Equality Party said she had felt a "sense of incredulity" about the exchange in which Ms Fulani was interrogated about where she was from, even though she had already explained she was born and lived in the UK.