Petronella Wyatt

Most-read 2022: In defence of Lady Susan Hussey

Lady Susan Hussey (photo: Getty)

We’re finishing the year by republishing our ten most popular articles from 2022. Here’s number five: Petronella Wyatt’s piece from earlier this month on Lady Susan Hussey.

Lady Susan Hussey resigned from the Royal household yesterday after 60 years of loyal service to King and Country. Lady Susan, who is 83, has survived world crises, royal scandals and machinations and the death of her friend Queen Elizabeth, to whom she was a beloved companion and longest serving lady in waiting. But she could not survive a meeting with the activist Ngozi Fulani and the arbitrary ‘rules’ that apparently now govern 21st Century social discourse.

Ms Fulani, the British born head of a London charity, who was attending a function at Buckingham Palace to draw attention to violence against women, says she felt ‘trauma’ and ‘violated’ after Lady Susan asked her which part of Africa she was from. Ms Fulani posted the exchange on Twitter, and despite claiming she had no desire to ‘name and shame’ tweeted Hussey’s initials for the benefit of the press, just in case we journos were being thick.

The walls of the temple then came down on the elderly miscreant. Prince William, who is Lady Susan’s godson, expressed ‘disappointment’ in his long-standing benefactor and elder, and the Palace denounced the incident as ‘unacceptable’. But what is more ‘unacceptable’? To publicly condemn and dismiss an 83-year-old for showing curiosity about someone’s heritage? Or for dispatching a loyal, grey-haired servant with such cruel haste, without even the benefit of a day’s grace? I incline to the latter. But then I am prejudiced, I have known Susan Hussey since I was 18, and if she is a racist, then I am an ornamental fountain.

Her sin, if there was one, was being old.

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