Ghana’s Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah goes down in history as UK’s first black equerry…
An equerry is an officer of the British royal household who attends or assists members of the royal family. In the history of England, there has never been a black man serving in this capacity at the royal household. But this trend will soon become a thing of the past as Ghanaian-born Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah has been selected to hold one of the most important positions in the royal palace.
Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah was appointed by England’s Queen Elizabeth II to serve in her royal household. The Ghanaian-born Household Cavalry officer henceforth will be attending high profile events as the Queen’s aide. This makes him the first black equerry in British history.
This information was released on the Household Cavalry’s official Twitter page where it was posted that “Major T-A is a Regimental legend & couldn’t be a better fit for the Equerry job”
As an equerry, Major Twumasi-Ankrah – known as “TA” to his friends – will act as one of the Queen’s most trusted attendants, assisting her with official engagements and welcoming high profile guests to royal residences. The 38-year-old who is an Afghanistan war veteran and an officer from the Household Cavalry is said to be preparing to take over the role of Wing Commander Sam Fletcher later this year.
The Queen herself is thought to have picked Twumasi-Ankrah personally from a group of candidates presented to her. The position is an extremely important one with the equerry more often than not, appearing with the Queen in her public appearances. This according to reports could make Kofi Twumasi “the most visible man by the Queen’s side” due to the imminent retirement of Duke of Edinburgh.
Fast Facts to Know About Kofi Twumasi -Ankrah (TA)
- TA left Ghana 35 years ago (in 1982) to Britain with his parents. He studied at the Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. As a child, he would always watch and admire the trooping of the color with fascination.
Trooping of the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. Here regiments have their ensigns slowly march with their colors between the soldiers’ ranks to enable soldiers to recognize their regiments’ colors.
- Kofi Twumasi joined the Blues and Royals to become the first black British Army officer commissioned into the Household Cavalry. He went fought in the Afghanistan war.
- 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.
- The 38-year-old lives with his wife Joanna Hanna-Grindall and two daughters.
Discrimination at the Palace
Buckingham Palace has been accused of racial discrimination over the years. An instance of this very sensitive case was in 2001 when Elizabeth Burgess, a former personal secretary to Prince Charles, brought forward a claim for constructive dismissal, on the grounds that she had been subject to discrimination by other members of staff.
These ranged from claims of racial jokes to slurs directed at the complainant. However, the claims were dismissed by the Prince’s solicitor who regarded them as outrageous and Ms. Burgess lost her claim.
While this is just one out of the very many cases of racial discrimination at the Palace, the appointment by the Queen is also seen as one that will help clear some perceptions about racial discrimination in the Royal Household