Guardsman hopes turban at Trooping the Colour marks ‘new change in history’
Coldstream Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall will wear a black turban featuring the ceremonial cap star to match the bearskin hats.
A Coldstream Guards soldier who will wear a turban as he parades during Trooping the Colour has said he hopes it is looked upon as a “new change in history”.
More than 1,000 soldiers will take part in the ceremony which marks the Queen’s official birthday on Saturday as the nation honours the monarch.
For Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall the event is not only his first Trooping the Colour, but also marks the first time a member of the Coldstream Guards has taken part wearing a turban.
The 22-year-old from Leicester 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.”
A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, the turban he will be wearing during Trooping the Colour will be black, featuring the ceremonial cap star to match the bearskin hats.
Gdsm Lall who joined the British Army in January 2016, was born in Punjab, India, and moved to the UK as a baby, said he is feeling “quite excited” ahead of the event.
“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 originated from traditional preparations for battle.
Colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the ranks so they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.
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 Sovereign’s official birthday.
This year the ceremony, which is staged every June in London’s historic Horse Guards Parade, will see the Colour of the 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards being trooped.
With weeks of rigorous training under his belt, on the day he and many other soldiers will wear immaculate uniforms and march with precision up the Mall and onto parade.
Gdsm Lall added: “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.”
He revealed his family including his mother, father and sister, who are “really, really proud” of him, will 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,” Gdsm Lall added.