The Queen‘s latest appointment is a historic one.
The head of the British Monarchy has chosen Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah to be her equerry — an officer that assists the royal family. He is the first black person to be chosen for the position in British history.
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Twumasi-Ankrah will fill one of the royal household’s most important jobs by attending events with the Queen, as Prince Phillip cuts back on his public appearances, The Independent reported. The officer will begin the job later this year.
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The 38-year-old is well-qualified for the job. He has years of experience with the British military’s Household Cavalry, which contains the army’s oldest and most senior regiments.
He is also no stranger to the monarchy. Twumasi-Ankrah acted as an escort commander for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. He also commanded the Queen’s birthday parade the same year, according to the Sunday Express.
Having a chance to lead the festivities is something Twumasi-Ankrah said he “never imagined” he would do.
“As a young child, watching Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday parade on the television, I would have never ever imagined that one day I would command the regiment which I’d fallen in love with on that day,” he said in a 2011 interview posted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on YouTube.
The Queen’s appointment was received with some cynicism by some social media users, who said the move is years late.
How lovely to see royalty moving with the times (of the last century unfortunately)
— judy eames (@kaminjude) July 9, 2017
Better late than never, I’m glad she’s made this decision. But it’s sad she took so long. It is 2017. She should’ve done this 60 years ago.
— Debbie Bailey (@DebraBailey) July 9, 2017
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The monarchy’s efforts to increase diversity made news in June as well, when a Canadian captain made history by becoming the first female infantry officer to lead the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London.
The role of Mounting The Queen’s Guard usually falls to the British Army’s Household Division, which is part of the male-dominated infantry division.
—With files from The Associated Press
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