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Kwasi Kwarteng, UK Finance Minister, under fire for smiling during Queen’s funeral

Collage of Kwasi Kwarteng at the Westminster Abbey

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:




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