In light of the Queen’s recent death, as a British Ghanaian, I’ve become intrigued with her relationship with Ghana during her more than 70 year reign.
In 1961, the Queen visited Ghana, West Africa, my family/ancestral home. The visit was significant because it was the Queen’s first visit to the country; she was due to visit Ghana in 1959, but could not make it due to being pregnant at the time.
It is said that the Queen was determined to make the journey the second time around, which says to me she thought well of Ghana and did not want to cause disappointment.
In addition, Ghana had become a republic the year before, obviously changing the dynamic of the relationship between the two countries.
In my opinion, the fact that the Queen still came to visit despite the change shows she had no hard feelings and had accepted Ghana’s decision to be independent.
During her visit, the Queen shared a foxtrot dance with Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, at a ball, in Ghana’s capital, Accra.
A re-enactment of the dance between the Queen and President Kwame Nkrumah was featured in season 2 of the Netflix show, The Crown. Find the clip here courtesy of Youtube:
SWL reached out to Lord Paul Boateng for comment, who had met the Queen. Below are his thoughts about the Queen and her relationship with Ghana.
He said: “The Queen’s deep affection and commitment to the Commonwealth have been clear whenever I’ve been privileged to meet her. She brought a lifetimes experience to any conversation whether at an event to celebrate the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at its HQ or an event at Buckingham Palace to mark the relationship between the Crown and Africa. She brought warmth and humour to every conversation.
“I recall with fondness my standing by the road with kids from my school during her first visit to Ghana waving our flags in welcome. My father was responsible as Minister for the Interior and Local Government both for her security during that visit and for showing her around Makola Market in Accra. I remember the excitement and my father’s sense of responsibility that came with that job.
“The visit to Ghana was a huge success and marked the onset of a close relationship between the royal family and the people of Ghana.
“The Jubilee was an opportunity to reflect on the Queen’s dedication and commitment to service over a long life that has seen Britain’s Empire become a vibrant multi-racial free and independent Commonwealth of Nations. She has played a key role in that process.
“The Jubilee was something to be happy about during a particularly troubling time in our world. I participated in the Parliamentary commemorations of the Queen’s Jubilee during the week and at the weekend.”