The palace swiftly condemned the aide, Susan Hussey, stripped her of her job and brokered a meeting with the guest, Ngozi Fulani, at which Ms. Hussey apologized. It was a sign that Charles, prodded by William, was determined to show he would not tolerate any perception of racist behavior in the royal household. William issued an even sharper condemnation than the palace.
“There’s clearly been a greater sensitivity in the royal household having to do with the issue of race,” said Ed Owens, a historian who studies the monarchy. “Getting on to the front foot on this issue is something they want to do.”
The king has been less forthcoming about the latest accusations aired by his younger son, Harry, who claimed in a recent Netflix documentary that his father lied, and his brother screamed at him, during a meeting with the queen to negotiate the withdrawal of Harry and his American-born wife, Meghan, from royal life.
Rather than dispute the accusations, the palace let it be known that Harry would be invited to his father’s coronation in May. Royal experts said that showed Charles’s determination to act as a healing force. But the documentary reinforced that the rift between the brothers was deep, abiding and, for now, irreconcilable.
The palace, Mr. Owens said, still has work to do. It was tainted by the disclosure that Jeremy Clarkson, a broadcaster who was harshly criticized for writing what critics said was a misogynistic newspaper column about Meghan, had attended a Christmas lunch hosted by Camilla, the queen consort.
“They need to move past these individuals,” Mr. Owens said, referring to Mr. Clarkson and Ms. Hussey. “They’re scoring own goals,” he said, using a phrase for a soccer player who kicks the ball into his own net.