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A Sikh Soldier Became the First to Wear a Turban at Trooping the Colour

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

A Sikh Coldstream Guards soldier became the first to wear a turban during the Royal Horseguards ceremony Saturday – a move he said he hopes will be a “new change in history.”

The soldier, Charanpreet Singh Lall, wore the turban as part of the ceremonies for Trooping the Colour, a parade honoring Queen Elizabeth’s birthday. Over 1000 soldiers participated, but Lall was the only one wearing a turban.

“I hope that people watching, that they will just acknowledge it and that they will look at it as a new change in history,” Lall, 22, told the Press Association. “I hope that more people like me – not just Sikhs but from other religions and different backgrounds – will be encouraged to join the army.”

According to the Guardian, Lall was born in India and moved to the United Kingdom when he was a baby. He joined the British Army nearly two and a half years ago.

Lall’s black turban featured the ceremonial cap star, to match his fellow soldiers’ bearskin hats.

“It is a good feeling,” Lall said before the event. “There’s going to be a lot of eyes and I am going to have an influence on other people.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of a branch of the British Armed Forces. It is the British Army, not the Royal Army.

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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com