WTF? How are people still doing this?

Surely it’s not something you require training on in this day and age? People with different coloured skin, accents, dress and religion might still be from the UK and be as British as you are you racist prat!

while clearly founded on assumptions that could fairly be called racist, just asking someone where they’re from (even if you’re clearly doing it because they are not white) is hardly The Official Worst Thing in the World, is it. Bit much to lose your job over. 

What laz said. Seems like it was clumsily handled on this occasion, but the question isn't inherently racist.

Laz - I have a feeling they are terrified this will give credence to the story that all the royals are racist. I think without the Oprah interview it might have been a retaining matter only but because this can now be used to say “See we told you they were all racist” they had to go.

I shall now take offence when I say I live in Sussex and people ask if I grew up there as they are obviously suggesting I don't like a Sussex man.

God.  She was absolutely determined to fully land that racism, wasn't she?  She was taking no chances.  Really wanted to make sure it couldn't be misconstrued as a doddery old fool being a bit culturally insensitive.



It's well known to be an insensitive thing to ask in that way.  But she's 83 FFS!


Why not just give her last answer?  

Yeah its an old person not with the times - i wouldnt ask the quesiton myself to be honest as I know that is a minefield and if it does come up and they speak with an east london accent just assume they are british and move on - if they want to tell you about their grandparents they will. 

@Threeepwood - Chill the fhuck out, you khunt.

She is 83 and has dedicated her life to serving. It wasn't even bad what she said.

No it wasn't, fairy cake.


Fatty? I'm the one who often gives advice on exercise and diet so as to obtain the perfect six pack, like mine. Your insults are all over the place.

WTF, the full account is coming out now. She pulled away her dreadlocks without asking so she could see her name badge. Big no, no.

this sort of thing just makes me wonder why we put up with the Royal family. Most of them are in the unimpressive - downright thick range and they surround themselves, by and large, by a very small group from an incredibly closed and out of date section of English society. 

I see Wills Prince of Wokeness is already over this like a rash. 

Quite understandable that the lady in question took offence, but tbf upper-class people have a funny, old-fashioned way of speaking. When they say "your people" they mean one's ancestry/family. They also shout "what" if they didn't hear you, which to most people is the height of rudeness. 

She had to go, but this is an occupational hazard of dealing with old, rich people. They're not like us. 

If the account of the conversation above is correct, I think we can all agree that she is a deep and unreconstructed racist.

And an aggressively bullying type of upper class, entitled harridan, I think we can all recognise.

Her age is no real defence, and her social standing should mean that she has, at the very least, manners. Which were clearly lacking in her hectoring of the poor guest.

Sums up the ghastly folk that Chas and Cam are surrounding themselves with.

That the offended lady was happy to publically share this event makes me suspect she was more offended than hurt by the episode.  Fair enough, it was pretty offensive.  Probably good publicity for the charity too.

pretty clear she’s a horrible old woman - but not too much of a surprise that some people of her class and generation are like that? compare and contrast with will and harry (though depressingly with some exceptions). through work I (wasp) meet a fair number of aristos and have been asked “where are your people from” and (though it might have been in the buck house case) it’s not necessarily racist - wasn’t with me, it’s working out your place and social status via a residual “blood and soil” code. funny bunch some of the old skool blue bloods. 

"her social standing should mean that she has, at the very least, manners."

Er... have you met any posh people? They're easily the rudest demographic. 

Apologies. Had not seen this thread. 

the aggressive probing and refusal (not failure) to note the responses along the way clearly demonstrates something other than doddery fool status. Rank racism. Offensive. 3-ducks you are an apologist for this shit citing service as an excuse. Get yourself into a quiet space and have a word. This is not the Edwardian era. 

SH: No, what part of Africa are you from?

Me: I don't know, they didn't leave any records.


top zingah

I'm not an apologist. I agree the remarks were absurd. Just saying that the aggressive tone is not that unusual for an  upper class person, nor the nature of the questioning for a person of a certain age (80+). 

I agree with Dux. The problem is that these upper class people of this age shouldn't have the roles they have. London is now 65% not white British. Unfortunately, people like this still act like London is 90%+ white British, and so do most of London's institutions and all of the major political parties. London needs a political party for non-white British to support. "The Majority Party" has a nice ring to it.

"London needs a political party for non-white British to support."

Second generation Asian immigrants seem to be the core (only?) constituency of the Conservative Party now tbf. 

Let’s for the moment give Dux the benefit of the doubt in excusing this woman’s performance as being ‘it’s just the way she is as a toff’.

What does it say about Camilla and Charles however that they choose to have this relic from the past representing them, and the Crown, at an official reception?

They must know from countless previous experiences how she conducts herself, talks to people and reacts to people of a different ethnicity to hers.



It might be worth noting that there are different ways that scene could be acted out.  Admittedly the interpretation that comes most easily to mind is the one suggested by Mutters and (surprisingly) MH, but the same dialogue acted out by a slightly dotty but fundamentally harmless old biddy and a chippy SJW type would come across quite differently.  

Brilliant jim! 

I did like this womans response though " I don't know they didn't leave records" How quick and brilliant is that.

FFS, people stop giving her a pass because of her age. Someone help me as to this is she actually Royalty or just some landed gentry aristocrat ?

eh? wot nonsense r u chatting ducks

gentry, at least in england, means landed gentry who do not have a peerage

she’s a baroness (albeit by marriage) so she is not gentry, and in ne event is the daughter of an earl so has never been gentry


When she goes into the rest home she can relive her tales of the houseboy in Keenya. The care staff will put up with her haughty colonialism uncomplainingly. 

I’m going to score it a 3.2 / 10 on the racist-o-meter, with 0 being not at all racist and 10 being genocide.

Sensible, centrist, dad; correct again.

An interesting one this. It's ok to be curious about someone's heritage, and I think it's ok to assume in conversation that they have a heritage different to yours if they look different.

I think it's all about how you ask though. 

It's a weirdly charged question here in Australia, where most people's Australian lineage only goes back two or three generations. But I'm a white English looking man so never get asked. Go figure. 

Imagine a person attending an event in lederhosen with a tirolese hat and perhaps a name badge with “Gunter Schulz” on it steadfastly denying any connection with Germany. It would be absurd. 

People get weirdly hostile about answering this, but then those who are privileged usually don’t understand that they are and that they are othering people.

I’ve had this in dating, where I’ve asked someone their heritage and they’ve got really defensive and offended by the question. My heritage is frankly boring as fvck, that’s one reason I would ask (I don’t any more). By the point you are on a date with somebody, there’s no answer you can give about what your ethnicity is that is going to be perceived as negative by the person asking. But they think there will be and that’s why you’re asking.

This generation is racist. The entitlement is what made it into a car crash as anyone with an ounce of self-doubt would have stopped. What's more ridiculous is a country that remains racist doing the whole holier than thou BS. 

Imagine a person attending an event in lederhosen with a tirolese hat and perhaps a name badge with “Gunter Schulz” on it steadfastly denying any connection with Germany. It would be absurd. 

Vee are bafarian!

It's ok to be curious about someone's heritage

I was at some training bollocks about this stuff and most of it was shite but one thing hit home: it's not really ok to be vocally curious about someone's "heritage", it's "othering" to ethnic minorities and you run the risk of pissing your questionee off. Imagine how many times someone who looks like this lady does might have to deal with this line of questioning and how annoying it could get after a while when white people don't have to do so. We don't have any right to pry into people's ancestral/genetic history as part of small talk and if we do it predominantly to ethnic minorities it can drive a subconscious wedge between us/make them feel looked down on, especially in a highly class based society like ours. Made me stop asking about heritage/background anyway as I'd never thought about it in that way and would previously have thought someone getting the hump at such (non-overtly racist) questions was quite rude.

By the point you are on a date with somebody, there’s no answer you can give about what your ethnicity is that is going to be perceived as negative by the person asking. But they think there will be and that’s why you’re asking.

This is not the case at all. Many (not all) people born in Britain whether to immigrant or sometimes to British born parents, don't like to be defined by where their grandparents came from - often countries and cultures that they have never visited and with which they are not familiar.

I remember being in a postgrad walking group at my college in Oxford when doing my postgrad. We went away for a long weekend walking in the Lake District. One of the committee members of the group was doing some sort of medicine postgrad and was half Asian - father from Pakistan, mother from England. It was very obvious to me at least that he'd had a very British-typical secular upbringing. A couple of the other postgrads - who were both from outside the UK, one from Germany IIRC, kept bringing up the fact he had Pakistan heritage. He was a really nice guy and did not tell them to feck off but it was cringeworthy.

She's the wife of a "life peer" which has nothing to do with the aristocracy.

Didn't realise she was the daughter if an Earl. Ok, stand corrected. 

I get asked this regularly in Oz.  Must be my exotic looks.*

I hate the unspoken assumption that we should identify with some other place.

fook off. 



* FAOD I have no exotic looks.

Mr Coffee, it's not your looks so much as the way you walk around in that magnificent Masaai warrior get up. 

What Threepwood said.

This is appalling. Anyone defending it or downplaying it is racist as well. Get in the sea. 




Unsurprisingly this is now a big “Royals are racist” story in the US. I get her Wills and Kate were booed at a basketball game. Can’t remember that happening before.


She's the wife of a "life peer" which has nothing to do with the aristocracy.

Didn't realise she was the daughter if an Earl. Ok, stand corrected. 

this is technically inkorrekt - a life peerage counts as titled nobility and therefore not gentry. interestingly, life peerages also grant hereditary nobility, which is commonly overlooked

it’s also often assumed that life peerages r a (relatively) modern thing in the uk, but in fact they were used occasionally throughout the early modern period


Not sure it was the best call for next in line to the British monarchy to visit a home Boston Celtics game…

Dont they research these things?

What does it say about Camilla and Charles however that they choose to have this relic from the past representing them, and the Crown, at an official reception?

She was the Queen's lady-in-waiting and I expect invited to the event before he Queen died so not necessarily chosen by Charles and Camilla.

Joking aside in London it's an almost standard question asking where people are from because there are now so few born and bred Londoners.  I'm constantly asked if I grew up in London or variations of that and similarly because people in this country are now so mobile when I say I live in Sussex I also get asked if that's where I grew up.

I've said it before but I stand by it - the royal family's treatment of Harry and Meghan could bring the whole thing down

They're the ones keeping it going. Hollywood actress feeding off royalty. Royalty feeding off Hollywood actress.   

Imagine a person attending an event in lederhosen with a tirolese hat and perhaps a name badge with “Gunter Schulz” on it steadfastly denying any connection with Germany. It would be absurd. 

I have to agree with BusinessSecrets on this (BS, if you are a Goatgash alias, I'll need to go shoot myself afterwards...).  If you're a minority, being asked where you're from comes with the territory, as any white person travelling in Asia or elsewhere will know.  

I thought when reading the transcript that there were so many ways in which that conversation could have gone (though sadly, perhaps inevitable in this day and age that it did go the way it did).  It's pretty clear when one gets the "where is one from" that the questioner would like to know where your ancestry lies.  Instead of being "defensive" (to quote Pizzak) why not come right out and state what that is - especially if in other circumstances you would be proud of your heritage?  Then ping it right back and ask "and what's yours - did your family come over with the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas from Germany?" or something that gives other party a taste of what it's like to be asked that question?    

Also, where is the tolerance for the other side - for the old and their foibles which is part of all cultures mentioned in this exchange - British, Caribbean, African - and which you'd expect from a charity worker?  

FAOD I agree Hussey was insensitive and graceless - not the image that the royal household want to project - and that it was reasonable for Fulani to have felt irritated, and probably even to have gotten her own back by broadcasting her account to the Twittersphere.  In reading accounts of Windrush et al it strikes me how similar many reactions from "the locals" were to Jewish immigrants in the 1930s, and no doubt to earlier waves of immigrants - Huguenots and so on.  Integration and assimilation isn't an easy or quick process.  Maybe in a few generations' time it'll be Fulani's descendants dishing it out - cf Patel, Braverman etc. 

She was very persistent in asking her questions. Even for someone over 80  you would have thought she would realise some people are not happy with that question. It almost feels like a plant to help Harry and M in their netflix thing against the Prince William.


Apparently she does not want the lady to lose her role but that was inevitable once the exchange got out.

The black lady should have said - from Africa as are we all. (As indeed we are - every human on the planet even those of us with 3% Neanderthal DNA, we are all from Africa).

Why is the bbc pushing this story so hard? It’s got push notification alerts and been top story on the website for two days now. Seems very OTT and makes it look like the bbc is pushing a woke agenda 

I’m normally of the view that woke metropolitans need to give the OAPs a bit a pass on their residual racism, but have to say this lady was appallingly racist, insistent and frankly rude regardless of the racism.

I hope we’re not paying for having these geriatrics wondering about offending people.

If the Royals want to survive they need to bin this generation quickly. Times have moved on too fast.

When are people going to stop being so sensitive,  and start being proud of their heritage? 

If I moved to Japan, I expect my grandchildren to say they are English. 

Assuming we keep the bloodlines clean.

Lady Hussey - if that is her title - is part of the gang, and if the royal household was up to speed it would have ensured everyone on duty at these gigs was told clearly there are things you can’t say and the mere fact you’re there and have been doing these events for decades is irrelevant.

The point is not that these people are racist throwbacks - nobody should be surprised by that, or offended - it’s that Brian’s gang - who’ve handled the fall out as well as poss in the circs imho - don’t think to manage their people and tell them in no uncertain terms they can’t say stuff like that - ideally they would also explain why, but if you’ve come across these types you’ll know that’s not easy. Obvs most of you have no fvkcing idea how to handle any politically sensitive issue in public other than by shouting. 

Because be under no illusion, it’s a free gift to people who will take offence at the slightest misspeak. And this is clearly much more than that. 

It almost feels like a plant to help Harry and M in their netflix thing against the Prince William.

Hussey is probably the type that would refuse to be bought no matter how many millions Netflix blew her way (what would she do anyway, being 83 and probably minted herself)... so the only possibility is that Queenie left a sealed letter to her closest confidant instructing her to (metaphorically) immolate herself at the opportune moment to lend her favourite grandson a hand?  

Tbf, Threepwood's 22:29 post makes a very good point when put in those terms. fook her.

Why is the bbc pushing this story so hard? 

Lady in question's now deceased husband Marmaduke was chair of BBC board of governors from 1986 to 96. Not a popular person at the BBC. Revenge when it comes after 25 years is all the sweeter for it.

Get a grip. "We'll get back at you by targetting your wife when you are dead. Or at least, I'll make sure people that still work here when I am long retired do."

Standard racist old posh hag on her own patch thinks she can do what she likes and gets found out shocka!  

It is a very miserable business. BBC working so hard to distance itself from the non fact version of HISTORY that is preserved for us by Netflix’s the Crown. Dukie versus Birt. Nothing said by Beeb at all in response to that fiction…and then a total horror show of a racist bully bastard caught in full cry in real life in current times and boom 

Well it does at criminal law Jim.  S.20 GBH seen as less culpable than s.18 due to the lack of intent, even if it is still GBH.

More generally, and as someone else has asked above, what does this mean for the murky world of app-based dating?  

Is it acceptable to match with someone who is almost certainly not from the UK and ask them where they are from?  When they say Clapham is one allowed to ask a further question about where they were born / which country they grew up in?

True EP, poorly phrased question. Should have been, “If there was no intent, does that make it all right then?”

Having done a bit of internet digging around the Complainant and her views on various issues, including the Royal Family, one does start to get the impression the whole thing just might have been engineered.

Her real name is Marlene, apparently.  She as a long history of speaking out against the Royal Family and has, herself, made comments that could be construed as racist against white people.

Either way, whole thing is murky as fook and everyone involved is smelling of sh1t.


Apparently her name is Marlene Headley but she changed it to sound more African, for reasons unknown. 

She has made various disparaging comments on various social media platforms about the Royal Family, including that they are racist and Meghan has been the victim of domestic abuse at their hands.

She is clearly not a supporter of the Royal Family.  The report of the conversation reads like the transcript of a recording.  It is not unreasonable to ask if she went there with an agenda.


She was on tv wearing either a Rastafarian tricolour and she has a (fake) Igbo name. If she was wearing similar at the palace it wouldn’t be a stretch to ask her about it. She said on tv that one of the aims of her charity is to speak out against racism so she had a duty to do this expose.

It looks like a fit up job for publicity.

Having said that, the old racist lady was easy to fit-up. Entitled old person from another era.

Makes me laugh when the royals pretend to be woke, their whole existence is about embedding privilege and power and lording it (literally, not figuratively) over the proles who are very much to be kept down and in their place.

So, as is often the case, when two dickheads with an agenda meet, a ruckus ensues. The racist old biddy met a harder nutter on this occasion.

I purposely make no comment on the original incident.   

I employ a lady born in the UK but so proud of her Indian heritage she often refers to herself as Indian which I confess to having been confused by  as to repeat her self description would lead me to ask myself if I were being rascist. 

My surname makes it obvious that my family came from elsewhere. I’m often asked where. I enjoy explaining. Maybe because it attests to survival rather than a journey in chains. 

If asked sensitively and contextually I think this can be a legitimate question and can demonstrate a genuine interest in a person and understanding them. 


Point being that an English person may feel it offensive that you think there's something different about them that you feel it's important enough 'to understand' about them by virtue of their ancestors' place of birth.