Faces of Black Excellence

Meet Major Twumasi-Ankrah, first African to be hired by Queen Elizabeth II

He is the first black person in British history to be selected by the late Queen Elizabeth II as his personal assistant or an equerry. He succeeded Wing Commander, Sam Fletcher, who retired from the position in 2017.

Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah known affectionately as TA among his friends is a Ghanaian born officer who fought in the Afghanistan war.

Prior to the Queen’s demise, Major Twumasi-Ankrah was one of her most trusted attendants, in the performance of the role of welcoming high profile guests to the royal residence, the Times reported. 

In the British history, an equerry is someone who takes care after the royal cavalry’s houses. With modernity transforming this role, Major Twumasi-Ankrah acted as an aide to Queen Elizabeth’s side. 

 He was one of the most visible individuals at the Queen’s side after the Duke of Edinburgh retired from public engagements. 

Major Twumasi-Ankrah relocated to the UK from Ghana with his parents in 1982. 

He had his education at the Queen Mary University in London and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

He is the first black British Army Officer commissioned into the Household Cavalry after joining the Blues and Royals. 

He was also the first black person to have acted as escort commander for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. 

Major Twumasi-Ankrah, now in his early 40s, also commanded the Blues and Royals that participated in the Queen’s birthday parade. 

He is married to Hanna-Grindall who works as the corporate partnerships manager at Victoria and Albert Museum. The couple has three children.

TA’s appointment is viewed by critiques of the royal family as efforts by the Buckingham Palace to dispel perception of racial discrimination in its corridors. 

Another of such appointments as part efforts of the royal family courtyard’s embrace of diversity was the appointment of a Canadian captain who is the first female infantry officer to lead the changing Guard ceremony at the palace in London, according to global news.

Major Twumasi-Ankrah was told British audience on a documentary on open and democratic society in Britain, he never imagined that he would command the Royal regiment and be so close to the Queen. 

He said as a child he watched the Queen’s birthday parade on television and never dream he would be part one day.

He observed that he has ascended to his current frat because the UK culture embraces all and gives opportunities to all.

Major Twumasi-Ankrah was born in 1979 and moved to the UK when he was three years old. His father is a former head of military intelligence for the Ghana Armed Forces.

Stephen Nartey

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