Her Majesty the Queen has appointed the first black equerry to be her new personal assistant.
Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, an officer who was born in Ghana and fought in the Afghanistan war, takes on one of the most important roles in the royal household, in which he assists the Queen with official engagements and welcomes important guests to the royal palaces.
The appointment is reported to be more significant than ever now that Prince Philip is retiring from public life.
Major Twumasi-Ankrah, known as TA, is 38 years old and came to the United Kingdom with his mother and father in 1982. He studied at Queen Mary University in London and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
He was the first black British Army officer commissioned into the Household Cavalry and was escort commander for the marriage of Prince William and Kate in 2011, a year in which he also led the Blues and Royals in the Queen’s birthday parade.
He lives in London with his wife, Joanna Hanna-Grindall, who works as a manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In a television documentary on Britain’s open and democratic society, Major Twumasi-Ankrah said: “As a young child, watching the her majesty the Queen’s birthday parade on television, I would have never imagined that one day I’d command the regiment which I’d fallen in love with.
“From where I sit and from what I’ve seen in the UK, our cultures really do mix and intermingle, and if I’m not a good example of that I really don’t know what is.”
Major Twumasi-Ankrah is currently in a transition phase with the current equerry Wing Commander Sam Fletcher and will take over fully by the end of the year.