The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and his wife, Lady Julia, returned to Kumasi from London, United Kingdom, on Saturday, May 13, 2023 to a tumultuous welcome.
The royal couple were in London on the invitation of the British Monarchy to attend the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6.
On May 12, the Kumasi Traditional Council had announced plans to welcome Otumfuo Osei Tutu in grand style. At a press conference, the Bantamahene, Baffuor Asare Owusu Amankwatia VI, who acted as president of the Kumasi Traditional Council in the absence of Otumfuo, said at a press briefing that the Asantehene needed to be celebrated for making the Asante Kingdom and Ghana proud in the United Kingdom.
“We want to welcome him in a unique way for the honour done to Asanteman, Ghana and the African continent as a whole.
“In the first place, we will not abandon our usual practice of welcoming him at the Airport. We will do that. But we will parade him through the ceremonial routes,” he said.
True to the promise of the Kumasi Traditional Council, the welcoming ceremony was massive, and befitting of the King. The aircraft that carried Otumfuo and his wife from London touched down at the Kumasi Airport at about 5 pm and they were presented with bouquets of roses.
A number of chiefs, religious leaders, politicians and other residents of Asanteman were at the airport to welcome him in grand style. Wearing a sparkling suit, Otumfuo, followed by Lady Julia descended the gangway of the aircraft beaming with smiles.
Drumming and Dancing
Traditional drumming and dancing spiced up the welcoming ceremony. He went round to shake hands with the dignitaries amongst the welcoming party at the airport, which included the Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu and the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah. At a point, the King responded with some majestic dancing to the throbbing of kete drums.
Some ceremonial streets were closed to the public to pave the way for Otumfuo’s motorcade to drive through as he received cheers from thousands of people who lined the streets. The welcoming ceremony ended at the Manhyia Palace.