Search icon


09th Jun 2018

Sikh soldier makes history by wearing turban during Trooping the Colour parade

Wil Jones

“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”

The Trooping the Colour parade took place on Saturday morning, marking the Queen’s 92nd birthday (even though it’s not her actual birthday – her real birthday in April 21st. It’s complicated, ok?).

Trooping the Colour dates back to the 17th century, and is performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. It originates from traditional battle preparations, where flags were ‘trooped’ – ie carried – slowly through the ranks so they could be seen by all soldiers, so they could recognise them during combat.

History was made on Saturday though, as a Sikh Coldstream Guards soldier became the first to wear a turban during the parade. The Coldstream Guards usually wear the iconic bearskin hats – but Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall, who was taking part in the ceremony for the first time, wore a black turban with a ceremonial cap star to fit in with his fellow soldiers.

22 year old Gdsm Lall was born in Punjab, India, but moved to the UK when he was a baby. He joined the British army in January 2016.

“I hope that people watching, that they will just acknowledge it and that they will look at it as a new change in history,” he said, speaking before the event.

He also hoped he would encourage more people like him to go into the military.

“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.”

“I’m quite proud and I know that a lot of other people are proud of me as well. 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.”

The Queen was joined at Trooping the Colour by Prince Charles, William and Kate, and Harry and Meghan. Prince Phillip did not attend, after retiring from royal duties last year.