On Monday, September 19, 2022; people from all walks of life attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at the Westminster Abbey in London.
Millions across the world followed the event on TV, online and across social media platforms as the world paid its last respects to the monarch who reigned for seven decades.
The event as expected was strictly by invitation, so much so that, even some world leaders were not invited – among others, Vladimir Putin and Emerson Mnangagwa, presidents of Russia and Zimbabwe respectively.
Per GhanaWeb’s checks, four Ghanaians were formally invited to the event for different reasons. Ghana’s First Couple were in London for the event as were two other personalities with Ghanaian parentage who are British.
Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, a one-time equerry of the Queen was in attendance, escorting the cortege on its last journey from the Westminster Abbey to the Royal Vault. The fourth Ghanaian was Kwasi Kwarteng.
Kwarteng, who is British-born but with Ghanaian ancestry, and the current UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister), was also in attendance.
He, however, courted controversy on social media after he was captured in a viral video smiling at a point during the ceremony – specifically when a two-minute silence had been declared for the memory of the queen.
Angry social media users – especially on Twitter – called for his head for desecrating what was a solemn occasion for the nation.
Others also alleged that Kwarteng was smiling at himself because he was most likely picking a personal call and had been told something that gave his cause to smile at a rather off time.
Kwarteng, as a senior member of Prime Minister Liz Truss’ government had a prominent seat at the venue of the service.
Below are some of the critical tweets:
This is extraordinarily dreadful and concerning! Britain’s new chancellor @KwasiKwarteng laughing during the service of the #queensfuneral
Totally disrespectful but also raises more questions around his suitability for office.pic.twitter.com/JyoYzpSWUE
— Liz Webster (@LizWebsterLD) September 20, 2022
When Kwasi Kwarteng delivers his mini budget on Friday all opposition MP's should coke up, wipe their brows, sway uncontrollably, and laugh like the laughing policeman. pic.twitter.com/mxPRaQ3aNG
— DimEagleBuckie 🏴🌱🇪🇺 ⚛️ 💛 🤝 💚 (@BuckieDim) September 20, 2022
Nice to see Kwasi Kwarteng clearly taking a personal call at the Queens funeral and having a bit of a laugh
The chancellor can't even show any respect at this most solemn occasion#queensfuneral pic.twitter.com/j2KlYS05hN
— Louis 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 〓〓 💙 Defend the right to vote (@LouisHenwood) September 19, 2022
What's so funny @KwasiKwarteng ?
Swaying too and fro. Laughing? ...Not the behaviour you'd expect to see from a Government Minister during a two minute silence at the funeral of the late monarch, nor any.
Total. Disrespect. @itvnews @BBCNews @VFritzNews @PaulBrandITV @SkyNews https://t.co/tOCCt9PEmg
— Matt D (@Matt_RuggD) September 19, 2022
Kwasi Kwarteng laughing at the Queens funeral is on par with Johnson going into a Hindu temple and talking about selling them good whiskey at rock bottom prices. You just don't fuckin do it. Clueless aren't they? #ToryCorruption #GeneralElectionNow #LizTrussIsNotMyPM
— Kate..Her with_all_the_Chihuahas! (@chihuahuaKath) September 20, 2022
We all know the if any Labour MP had been caught on camera laughing and joking at the Queen's funeral like @KwasiKwarteng it would have been front page news on every right-wing newspaper for a month, right?
— Mike Holden 💙 (@MikeHolden42) September 20, 2022