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British Sikh Man, 90, To Present King Charles With Key Coronation Item

British Sikh Man, 90, To Present King Charles With Key Coronation Item

London:

Lord Indarjit Singh is the British Sikh peer who hands over a key item of the regalia to King Charles III during his Coronation at Westminster Abbey in London on Saturday, symbolic of the multi-faith note being struck at the traditionally Christian ceremony.

The 90-year-old peer will form part of a procession of peers who walk up to the altar before handing over the Coronation Glove, which is a demonstration of the Sovereign as advocate and challenger for the protection and honour of the people. It also bears a second meaning, as a reminder of holding power, symbolised in the royal Sceptre, gently in a gloved hand.

“It’s a great honour for myself, but much more for the wider Sikh community, in this country, in India and further afield wherever Sikhs are across the globe. It’s a recognition of the King’s view of inclusivity,” said Lord Singh, in an interview ahead of the historic ceremony.

He will be joined by Lord Syed Kamall, 56, of Indo-Guyanese heritage, who will represent the Muslim faith and present the Armills or a pair of bracelets and Lord Narendra Babubhai Patel, 84, will represent the Hindu faith and hand over the Sovereign’s Ring. Baroness Gillian Merron, 64, who is Jewish, will carry the Robe Royal to the King.

“It is something like the story of the three kings [from the Bible], now it’s been inflated by faith inflation to four people bearing gifts,” said Singh, on a light-hearted note.

“As far as the procession goes, that is fairly usual and normal. It’s always there on a Commonwealth Day service. The unusual element is the presentation of the gifts, that we go in turn to the King who is seated on a throne on a platform and offer him – in my case, it will be the Coronation Glove,” he explains.

Singh, who is the founder of the Network of Singh Organisations (NSO) and was honoured with a CBE by the late Queen Elizabeth II for services to interfaith harmony, has known Charles personally for many years. The duo have discussed their shared views on the respect for all religions and the importance of religious harmony.

“I have known King Charles for many years, we met on many occasions, seminars, presentations, and I admire the work he is doing against global warming, care of the environment and so on. But I admire his attitude to religion even more,” said the community leader and prominent interlocutor on the Sikh faith in the UK.

“He invited some of us faith leaders to Buckingham Palace on the weekend of the Queen’s funeral to stress that he is the Head of the Church of England, but he will show total respect for other faiths. And, in all the years that I’ve known him, I’ve seen this to be true,” he said.

Singh is confident that the new monarch is on course to make a huge contribution to further not only interfaith relations but to make religion, often regarded as a cause of conflict, a force of good.

“The aim of religion as I see it, and I believe he sees it, is to move society towards the good, the better end of the spectrum. And, in all the discussions I’ve had with him, he totally agrees with that concept,” he said. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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