Man to wear turban in place of bearskin hat for Trooping the Colour ceremony
A SIKH soldier will today become the first to wear a turban instead of a bearskin hat during the Trooping the Colour.
Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall, 22, will march among 1,000 soldiers taking part in the ceremony to mark the Queen’s birthday.
His turban will be black to match his comrades’ headgear and feature the Coldstream Guards’ ceremonial cap star.
His proud parents and sister will be among the crowds lining Horse Guards Parade for the ceremony.
Gdsm Lall, from Leicester, who came to the UK from India as a boy, said: “Being the first turban-wearing Sikh to troop the colour and be part of the escort is a high honour.”
Lall, who joined up in 2016, added: “I hope people will look on this as a change in history.
Guardsman Lall’s proud parents and sister will be among the crowds lining Horse Guards Parade for the ceremony.
“I hope more people like me, not just Sikhs but from other religions and different backgrounds, will be encouraged to join the Army.”
Trooping the Colour originated from the preparations for battle when colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the ranks.
Also making history is a Guards veteran whose final Trooping the Colour parade marks the end of a four decade Army career.
Drum Major Steve Staite, 55, has taken part in Trooping the Colour at least 26 times – 17 as drum major, something the Army claim is a world record – this year’s Queen’s birthday parade carries extra significance.
“I am very excited to be doing my final Queen’s birthday parade, it is a culmination of my career over the four decades,” he said.
“And what better day to go out on than the Queen’s birthday?”
Drum Major Staite joined the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards at the age of 16 on June 19 1979 and was appointed drum major to the Queen in 1995.