Prince William will “keep calm and carry on”—and not address the new royal racism scandal during his Boston visit, sources have told The Daily Beast.
The scandal was triggered Wednesday when his godmother, the former lady in waiting to the queen Lady Susan Hussey, repeatedly asked Ngozi Fulani, a hugely respected Black British domestic violence charity boss, where she was “really” from at a reception at Buckingham Palace. Hussey has since resigned, and William’s spokesperson said that “racism has no place in our society,” and that it was right Hussey had resigned.
A family friend of the prince told The Daily Beast that William would likely now be trying to figure out the best way to continue his trip to the U.S., which is to support an environmental award he co-founded known as the Earthshot prize—and not to be diverted by the latest royal racism scandal back home.
“William ultimately subscribes to his grandmother’s ‘keep calm and carry on’ school of thinking, and that is what he will be doing, trying to get the focus back on the award,” the friend said.
Asked if this meant he would risk being seen as effectively pretending the comments by Lady Susan Hussey hadn’t happened, or confronting their consequences and significance for the royal family, the friend said, “He condemned the remarks in no uncertain terms. He just won’t be going on Oprah to talk about it.”
A spokesperson for the prince declined to comment further on the remarks Wednesday evening, with his team known to be determined to avoid being “distracted” by issues not related to the Earthshot prize.
There is no chance of that—as the royal family finds itself consumed by negative headlines, Harry and Meghan stuck the knife in further Thursday releasing the trailer for their Netflix show, in which Harry is heard saying, “No one knows what’s happening behind closed doors.”
“I had to do everything I could to protect my family,” he says.
Meghan adds: “When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”
The fresh scandal could not have come at a worse time for William, who, with wife Kate, is making his first trip to the U.S. since Harry and Meghan took up residence there.
This latest debacle will do little to disabuse the global public of the notion that the monarchy is not the stuffy, out of date and racist institution that Harry and Meghan claimed it was in their bombshell interview with Oprah in 2021.
On Sunday in New York, Harry and Meghan are being honored for standing up to “structural racism” within the monarchy.
Their high-profile visit to America this week was meant to be part of William and Kate’s fightback, making it clear the monarchy is not going to cede America to Harry and Meghan without a fight. However, the scandal—and the deeply offensive way that Hussey addressed Fulani—also focuses attention on not only what Harry and Meghan claimed were the attitudes they faced within the institution, but why they are receiving the award Sunday at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation Ripple of Hope Gala in New York.
Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter and president of the foundation, said the award is for their “heroic” stance against the “structural racism” of the royal family. Kennedy told Vanitatis magazine: “They went to the oldest institution in U.K. history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health.”
Kennedy added: “Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.”
If anything, the scandal shows why the award is—damningly for the royal family—well-merited, and why “keeping calm and carrying on” is perhaps the very opposite of how William should be approaching the fallout from Hussey’s remarks.