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Reverend delivers ‘racism’ lecture in front of Kate and William

Prince William and Kate Middleton light building green in Boston

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Kate, Princess of Wales, and Prince William heard a Boston reverend speaking of the “legacy of colonialism and racism” just hours after a scandal sent shockwaves through the Royal Family. The Prince and Princess of Wales listened to Reverend Mariama White-Hammond’s speech as they were waiting to take over the Speaker’s Corner outside Boston City Hall to be officially welcomed to the Massachusetts capital and launch the countdown to The Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony, taking place on Friday evening.

The Reverend, who is Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, started her speech at Boston City Hall by “acknowledging the ancestral lands we stand on today”.

Reverend White-Hammond, who also founded a youth organisation focused on “teaching the history of the Civil Rights Movement”, said: “On this day, I invite us all to consider the legacy of colonialism and racism.

“The ways it has impacted people across the world and its connection, its deep connection to the degradation of land and our planet that we are all seeking to reverse.

“The stories lost, the species made extinct, but also the persistence of people in the face of oppression and the fundamental dignity of all of our relations.”

The Reverend, who did not mention in her speech the racism scandal that hit Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, went on to express gratitude to William and Kate for choosing to host this year’s Earthshot Prize in Boston. 

She said: “Now you all know, we are a city of many firsts. We are honored to be the first American city and the first city outside of the United Kingdom to host the Earthshot Prize.”

The Reverend’s speech came hours after a long-serving member of the Royal Household, believed to be Prince William’s godmother and close friend of the late Queen Lady Susan Hussey, made “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” to charity leader Ngozi Fulani during the reception on domestic abuse launched by Queen Camilla at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Ms Fulani, who runs the organisation Sistah Space in support of African and Caribbean heritage women affected by abuse, opened up on the incident on Twitter on Wednesday morning and reported a disturbing conversation she had with a Buckingham Palace staff she called “Lady SH”.

The aide reportedly asked her “what part of Africa” she was from and pressed her to know her nationality and “where do your people come from”, according to a transcript of the exchange shared by Ms Fulani. 

A few hours after Ms Fulani’s tweet, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details. In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.

“We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.

“In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.

“All members of the Household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.” 

Prince William also weighed into the row, with a spokesperson from his office releasing a statement just hours before the Prince and Princess of Wales were due to make their first appearance in Boston.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement: “This is a matter for Buckingham Palace, but as the Prince of Wales’ spokesperson I appreciate you’re all here and that you’ll want to ask about it. So let me address this head on.

“I was really disappointed to hear about the guest’s experience at Buckingham Palace last night. Obviously, I wasn’t there, but racism has no place in our society.

“The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”

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