Sikh soldier becomes first to wear turban for trooping the colour


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.





The duke and Duchess of Sussex attend Trooping the Colour on Saturday.



The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend trooping the colour on Saturday. Photograph: Niklas Hallen/AFP/Getty Images

It was the first time Meghan had attended the ceremony following her marriage to Prince Harry three weeks ago.

The newlyweds also appeared on the balcony of Buckingham palace for the first time on Saturday.

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.





The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after Trooping the Colour.



The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

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

Lall was born in Punjab, India, and moved to the UK as a baby. 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 turban features 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 Horse 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.



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