Among the military men who escorted the cortege of Queen Elizabeth II on its last journey from Westminster Abbey to the St. George’s Chapel was a Ghanaian-born British soldier, Lieuetenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah.
He was the only Black person in the group of over a dozen officers who marched along with the cortege on September 19, 2022 after the official funeral had been held.
A former United Kingdom High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, was full of praise for Twumasi-Ankrah, who has been a Personal Assistant of the late monarch – as her equerry.
“Proud to see Her Late Majesty’s equerry, Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, accompanying her coffin in today’s #statefuneral,” the diplomat tweeted on Monday.
In 2017, then Major Twumasi-Ankrah was named by Queen Elizabeth II as her equerry, becoming the first black man to hold this position.
The position is for a three-year period. Hence, at Windsor Castle on 27 November 2020, Twumasi-Ankrah was received by the Queen, who invested him with the MVO upon relinquishing his appointment as Equerry.
An equerry’s duty primarily is that, at official activities, including public visits and receptions at Buckingham Palace, he assists the monarch.
After Prince Phillip retired from public service, Twumasi-Ankrah supported Queen Elizabeth II at public events.
His military history has it that he is an officer of the Household Cavalry and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
Born in Ghana in 1979, he moved to the UK with his parents in 1982 when he was three years old.
Twumasi-Ankrah enrolled at Queen Mary University, London upon completion of his school education and then joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
He who was commissioned by the Blues and Royals at the time, served in the military all his life. He was the first British Army black African officer to be commissioned into the Cavalry of the Household.
Speaking on film for a documentary on Britain’s open and democratic society, Major Twumasi-Ankrah said: “As a young child, watching 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.”
He added: “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.”