Smiling Wills and Kate walk with US reverend who reminded them of 'racist legacy' amid palace race row

1 December 2022, 17:05 | Updated: 2 December 2022, 09:13

William and Kate walking in Boston
William and Kate walking in Boston. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

William and Kate went for a walk with a US reverend who had reminded them about the "legacy of colonialism and racism" in a talk the night before, as they continued their American visit to promote their environmental prize.

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The royal couple spent time on Boston's waterfront with Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, the city of Boston's chief of environment, energy, and open space, who said in her welcome address on Wednesday: "On this day, I invite us all to consider the legacy of colonialism and racism."

She added: "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 reverend declined to comment on her address further on Wednesday, which came amid a backdrop of troubles including the race row and Harry and Meghan's Netflix trailer.

But Rev White-Hammond said she had not heard about the race row involving charity chief Ngozi Fulani and William's godmother before making her speech.

William and Kate have greeted the US crowds they have met with smiles, and have been given mixed receptions in return.

The couple were booed by sections of a crowd at a basketball game in Boston on Wednesday as the fallout from the Buckingham Palace reception revelations made headlines in America.

And on Thursday they were informed that a trailer for a potentially explosive documentary on Netflix, featuring candid interviews with Harry and Meghan, had been released.

Harry & Meghan | Official Teaser | Netflix

They smiled and greeted a child dressed as a member of the King's Guard, who passed them flowers, as onlookers held up signs welcoming the pair to the US.

They looked thrilled to meet the child, whose dress included the famous red coat and bearskin hat.

Another onlooker welcomed them to New England while dressed as Uncle Sam as they visited a lab. They are in Boston for the Earthshot Prize Awards, which encourage environmental initiatives.

Read more: Former chief crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal reveals race row aide asked him about his ‘heritage’ too at Palace event

William and Kate visited a lab as part of the Earthshot climate initiative
William and Kate visited a lab as part of the Earthshot climate initiative. Picture: Getty

It comes after Ngozi Fulani, the CEO of Hackney-based charity Sistah Space, said a member of the royal household had moved her dreadlocks out of the way to read her name card before asking her where in Africa she came from – despite Ms Fulani being British.

Lady Susan Hussey, who is William's godmother, has since apologised and quit her role over the incident at Buckingham Palace.

William has not directly addressed the allegations, while Rishi Sunak said it was a matter for the royals and criticised racism in general terms.

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said on Wednesday: "Racism has no place in our society.

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

The Palace said it was taking Mr Fulani's revelations "extremely seriously" and an investigation was under way, branding the comments "unacceptable and deeply regrettable".

Read more: 'Doesn't it make sense to hear our story?': Harry and Meghan release trailer for new Netflix show

William and Kate met a child dressed as a member of the King's Guard
William and Kate met a child dressed as a member of the King's Guard. Picture: Getty

Mr Sunak said: "As I've talked about in the past, I have experienced racism in my life.

"But what I am pleased to say is some of the things that I experienced when I was a kid and a young person I don't think would happen today because our country has made incredible progress in tackling racism.

"But the job is never done. And that's why whenever we see it we must confront it.

"It's right that we continually learn the lessons and move to a better future."

It has renewed a focus on the institution of the monarchy and its role in modern British society, just as the royals try to stabilise it in the wake of Queen Elizabeth's death and implement some reforms planned by King Charles.

Meanwhile, William and Kate are pictured sitting in front of Harry and Meghan in the latter couple's trailer for their new documentary.

They are pictured as Harry says people don't see what happens behind closed doors, while Meghan says: "When the stakes are this high, doesn't it make more sense to hear our story from us?"

It was reported previously that the royals had been avoiding Harry until it was known what the documentary and his delayed memoir, Spare, contain.

However, William, Kate, Harry and Meghan did all walk out at Windsor together to greet wellwishers after the Queen died.