The death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, marked the end of seven straight decades of royal leadership that spanned across the world.
The British Royal family through the Commonwealth group of nations maintained very close ties with its former colonies – be it at the political-diplomatic and the traditional leadership levels.
One of Ghana’s most influential kingdoms, the Ashanti Kingdom, is known to have close relations with the British Royal Family.
Top royals on both sides have visited each other at different times in recent history. In 2000, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II paid his first and only visit to Buckingham Palace where he was hosted by the late Queen and her husband.
GhanaWeb digs into the archives for details of how the meeting went
Otumfuo arrived in London with a 20-man delegation of chiefs, linguists, and Manhyia palace officials.
They were in the United Kingdom for a three-week visit which was at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Among the first engagements was a meeting with the Queen. Special Guest Osei Tutu II was received in a private audience at Buckingham Palace after which the two will have tea together.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu also met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at the Lambeth Palace – the official residence of the leader of the global Anglican faith.
Arrival at Heathrow Airport
The Asantehene, received full diplomatic courtesies at the London Heathrow airport by a delegation led by Mr J.E.K. Aggrey-Orleans, the then High Commissioner in Britain and Mr. Michael Forster, of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
He was received at the Ghana High Commission in London amid fanfare by overseas associations of Ashantis.
Also present was Mr Paul Boateng, the then Minister of Home Affairs. Boateng, whose father is a Ghanaian, described Otumfuo’s visit as “representing peace and tranquillity at a period when Africa is passing through difficult times” adding that “the visit represents the very best that Africa could offer.”
A Ghana News Agency, GNA, report at the time noted that he held business meetings with heads of British companies including Guinness, Taylor Woodrow, Standard Chartered and Barclays Banks.
Otumfuo also visited Cambridge to observe their special education policy at work, a dinner dance at which funds were raised for the Education Fund, and a meeting of Ghanaians resident in London.
The then 50-year-old Otumfuo had become an occupant of the Golden Stool a year prior. The trip was his first outside Ghana and was seen as charting a new relationship between two people who at the beginning of the 20 century were antagonists.
The British who had colonised Ghana fought several wars with the Asantes who opposed their rule. The last war was the Yaa Asantewaa war in 1900 which the British won and exiled Yaa Asantewaa the Queen-mother of Ejisu who had taken up arms against them to prevent their annexing of the Golden Stool, the symbol of Asante unity and strength.