General News of Sunday, 9 July 2017
A Ghanaian-born officer from the British Household Cavalry, Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, has been appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to serve in her household as the first black equerry.
According to The Sunday Times, Twumasi-Ankrah was handpicked by the Queen herself from a number of potential appointees.
The position is an extremely important one with the equerry more often than not appearing with the Queen in her public appearances, a fact the Times reports could make him “the most visible man by the Queen’s side” due to the imminent retirement of Duke of Edinburgh.
38-year-old Twumasi-Ankrah left Ghana for the United Kingdom 35 years ago with his parents.
He studied at the Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, going on to become the first black British Army officer to be commissioned into the Household Cavalry, and fighting in the Afghanistan war.
He currently lives in London with his wife, Joanna and two daughters. Known as TA to his close friends, Twumasi-Ankrah served as escort commander at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton back in 2011.
He also commanded a cavalry regiment of the British Army; the Blues and Royals, which took part in a ceremony at the Queen’s birthday parade in the same year.
Reports indicate that he will replace the current equerry Wing Commander Sam Fletcher later in 2017 and is currently going through the transition process.
Twumasi-Ankrah had earlier stated that he was honoured to have played an important role in the Queen’s parade having watched it on TV as a child.
“I would have never imagined that one day I’d command the regiment which I’d fallen in love with,” he said.
The appointment by the Queen is also seen as one that will help clear any perceptions about racial discrimination the Royal Household and British elite, an idea Twuamsi-Ankrah completely supports.
“From what I’ve seen in the UK, our cultures really do mix and if I’m not a good example of that I really don’t know what is,” he added.