The Queen’s newest equerry is to be a first for the Royal Household: a black officer is taking the role.
For the next three years, Ghanaian-born Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah is to aid Her Majesty at official engagements.
Major Twumasi-Ankrah is a 38-year-old Household Cavalry officer, who moved to the UK from Ghana with his parents in 1982. He studied at Queen Mary University of London, followed by his officer’s training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He saw action in Afghanistan, too.
The history-maker joined the Blues and Royals – of which Princess Anne is Colonel-in-Chief – to become the first black British Army officer commissioned into the Household Cavalry. Twumasi-Ankrah acted as escort commander for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011, and commands over 100 men and horses.
Equerries were, historically, tasked with looking after the cavalry’s horses, but today, the role is that of an aide. Always from the military, their organisational training and perfectionism helps engagements to run smoothly during their three-year secondment.
Former equerries to The Queen include Sir Tim Laurence, who later married The Princess Royal, while Peter Townsend filled the same role to George VI.
Speaking on film about 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.”
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.”
Nana is currently learning the ropes ‘in a transition phase’ with The Queen’s current equerry, Wing Commander Sam Fletcher; the Major will take over fully by the end of the year, also coinciding with Prince Philip’s retirement.