London: Two young Sikh soldiers have earned the honour of serving as bodyguards to Queen Elizabeth II, making them the first members of the community to guard the reigning monarch, a development hailed as "historic" in the country.
Signaler Simranjit Singh, 26, and Lance Corporal Sarvjit Singh, 28, will be the first Sikhs to guard the 83-year old British queen.
Photographs of the beaming duo, posing with their guns in the Buckingham Palace, were splashed in British tabloids.
Simranjit had made history as the very first Sikh soldier to wear his turban on public duties in May this year guarding the monarch and protecting the Crown Jewels. He was joined by Lance Corporal Singh.
The two men have been allowed to keep their turbans, long hair and beards in their new jobs.
Leading members of UK's Sikh community lauded the move as "long overdue". They pointed out that Queen Victoria used to have Sikh personal guards.
Jagjit Singh Taunque, deputy lord lieutenant of West Midlands, said: "History has been made. They are great role models for the younger generations."
Resham Singh Sandhu, a deputy lord lieutenant of Leicestershire country said: "I am really very pleased - there is quite a long tradition of links between the British royal family and Sikh soldiers."