If a visitor to my house suggested they had been abused and verbally attacked when they came to tea, I probably wouldn’t be in a particular hurry to invite them round again for nibbles. If that person had subsequently caused a very public stink and embarrassed and humiliated a valued family friend of extremely long standing, I would most definitely give them up as a bad idea. I certainly wouldn’t invite them for ‘talks’.
But this is pretty much the approach taken by the King and Queen Consort to Ngozi Fulani, the domestic abuse campaigner who says she was asked repeatedly where she was ‘really’ from when she visited Buckingham Palace last week. Now the Royals have ‘reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter’ – which is a bit like checking to see if a grenade went off by giving it a good old shake.
This is perhaps the model example of a peculiar phenomenon I’ve noticed over the last few years: of privileged people cringing before their detractors, and often doing so in a highly cringe-inducing way.
Should Charles and Camilla indulge someone like Fulani, whose various appearances in the media resulted in the brutal ousting of Lady Susan Hussey? Hussey, who served as the Queen’s lady in waiting for more than 60 years, has already offered her ‘profound apologies for the hurt caused’. What else is there to be said?
Despite what the Royals might think, or are being advised, offering another olive branch does not show a positive modern progressive outlook. It doesn’t make people think you’re big hearted and beneficent. It is simply abasing yourself, showing that you can be pushed around. It also signifies that you have no self-respect.