Sikh soldier becomes first to wear turban for Trooping the Colour

Charanpreet Singh Lall makes history as he takes part in Queen’s birthday parade

Coldstream Guards, including Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall, aged 22, a Sikh from Leicester who is the first soldier to wear a turban during the Trooping the Colour parade, march down The Mall as part of Trooping the Colour in central London, Britain.

London: A Coldstream Guards soldier has become the first person to wear a turban during the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

More than 1,000 soldiers took part in the ceremony to mark the Queen’s official birthday on Saturday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined other senior royals including the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the event.

Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall, 22, a Sikh from Leicester, said he hoped it would encourage those from different religions and backgrounds to join the army.

The event was Lall’s first Trooping the Colour. He 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, that they will be encouraged to join the army.”

Lall was born in Punjab, India, and moved to the UK as a child. He joined the army in January 2016 and said he was feeling “quite excited” ahead of the event.

A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, Lall’s black turban featured the ceremonial cap star to match the bearskin hats of his fellow guardsmen.

“I’m quite proud and I know that a lot of other people are proud of me as well,” he said. “It is a good feeling … there’s going to be a lot of eyes and I am going to have an influence on other people.”

Trooping the Colour, which is staged every June in London’s Guards Parade, originated from traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the ranks so the soldiers could see and recognise them.

In the 18th century, guards from the Royal palaces assembled daily on Horse Guards to “troop the colours” and, in 1748, it was announced the parade would also mark the monarch’s official birthday.

Lall said his family, who are “really, really proud” of him, would be coming to watch him take part. “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,” he said.

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