The Queen has appointed her next equerry, Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah. It is understood that the Ghanaian-born officer from the Household Cavalry will be the royal household's first black equerry. He will hold one of the most important positions in the royal household, assisting Her Majesty at official engagements, and likely becoming the most visible figure by the Queen's side once her husband Prince Philip retires in the autumn.
"I would have never imagined that one day I'd command the regiment which I'd fallen in love with," Maj Twumasi-Ankrah, 38, told the Sunday Times. "From what I've seen in the UK, our cultures really do mix and if I'm not a good example of that I really don't know what is." The Afghanistan war veteran, known as TA by his friends, will take over the role from Wing Commander Sam Fletcher later this year. The report went on to say that the Queen personally picked her new equerry from a group of candidates.
Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah will start the role next year
Maj Twumasi-Ankrah moved to the UK from Ghana with his parents in 1982. He studied at Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. His royal career so far has included acting as escort commander at Prince William and Kate's wedding in 2011, as well as commanding the Blues and Royals at the Queen's birthday parade.
Prince Philip, 96, announced his plans to retire in May. Buckingham Palace released a statement, saying: "His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of the Queen. Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time."