The Queen has selected a new personal assistant who will serve as the first black equerry in British history.
Ghanaian-born Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, who fought in the Afghanistan war, will assist the Queen with her official duties and welcome guests to the royal residences.
The Queen’s equerry is expected to be a publicly visible aide at the Queen’s side and the role is thought to become even more important following the Duke of Edinburgh’s planned retirement later this year.
38-year-old Major Twumasi-Ankrah moved to the UK from Ghana with his parents back in 1982.
He studied at Queen Mary University in London and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before joining the Blues and Royals becoming the first black British Army officer commissioned into the Household Cavalry.
Major Twumasi-Ankrah is currently working with the current equerry Wing Commander Sam Fletcher and will take on his duties full time by the end of the year.
Speaking to a documentary crew about Britain’s open and democratic society Major Twumasi-Ankrah spoke of his pride in his duties.
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.
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.
In the past Buckingham Palace has been accused of racial discrimination most notably back in 2001, Elizabeth Burgess, a former personal secretary to Prince Charles, alleged she had been a victim of discrimination by other members of staff.
Ms Burgess brought forward a constructive dismissal case but her claims were dismissed by the prince’s solicitor and Ms Burgess lost her claim.
Staff policy published by Buckingham Palace states:
The household aims to employ the best people from the widest available pool of talent … irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin.
Good luck Major!