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Sikh soldier becomes first to wear turban in annual Trooping the Colour parade marking Queen’s birthday

Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall marched among 1,000 soldiers taking part in Trooping the Colour ceremony which marks the Queen’s official birthday.

world Updated: Jun 09, 2018 19:03 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Trooping the colour,Sikh soldier,Charanpreet Singh Lall
Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall of the Coldstream Guards wears a turban as he takes part in the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal for Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in London, on June 2, 2018. (AP)

A turban-wearing soldier of the Coldstream Guards became the first Sikh soldier to figure in the widely watched traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth.

Charanpreet Singh Lall, 22, was among more than 1,000 soldiers who participated in the ceremony attended by the Queen and members of the royal family, including the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Appearing in his first such ceremony, Punjab-born Lall told the Press Association: “I hope that people watching, that they will just acknowledge it and that they will look at it as a new change in history.

“I hope that more people like me, not just Sikhs but from other religions and different backgrounds, will be encouraged to join the army,” Leicester-based Lall added.

Lall moved to the UK as a baby and joined the British Army in January 2016. A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, Lall’s turban features the ceremonial cap star to match the bearskin hats of his fellow guardsmen.

He said: “I’m quite proud and I know that a lot of other people are proud of me as well. It is a good feeling...For myself, being the first turban-wearing Sikh to troop the colour and to be part of the escort, it is a really high honour for myself, and hopefully for everyone else as well.

“My mum was crying on the day I passed out, so I wonder what is going to happen to her when she sees me in this.”

Trooping the Colour, staged every June by London’s Horse Guards Parade, has commemorated the birthday of the sovereign for more than 250 years. It originated from traditional preparations for battle.

First Published: Jun 09, 2018 14:01 IST