The Queen has picked the first black man to hold the role of equerry, one of the most important positions in the royal household.
38-year-old Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah is the Queen’s new equerry after serving in Afghanistan and in the palace with the Household Cavalry regiment.
It has been confirmed that Twumasi-Ankrah is preparing to take over the role from Wing Commander Sam Fletcher later this year.
The soldier moved from Ghana to the United Kingdom with his parents in 1982 and studied at the Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, British media reported.
Twumasi-Ankrah’s royal career so far has included acting as escort commander at the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding in 2011, as well as commanding the Blues and Royals at the Queen’s birthday parade – but his new role will mean he could spend more time at Her Majesty’s side than even her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Since Prince Philip announced that he will be stepping down from public duties this autumn, the new equerry could be the most visible man by the monarch’s side.
Twumasi-Ankrah has never hidden his Ghanaian roots. He told the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a 2011 documentary that his first work in the regiment and one of his best moment was when he escorted the Queen and Ghanaian President John Kufuor during a state visit in 2007.
“I would have never imagined that one day I’d command the regiment which I’d fallen in love with … 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 said to Sunday Times.
Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah will serve for three years in the role starting at the end of the year.
The Queen is thought to have picked Twumasi-Ankrah personally from a group of candidates.
As part of his responsibilities, he assists the Queen during her public duties and takes responsibility for the Queen’s horses, carriages and coaches among others.