King Charles dons traditional headscarf as he visits Sikh community in Luton

King Charles III makes the traditional namaste gesture as he speaks to volunteers and learns about the programmes they deliver for the local community during a visit to the newly built Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Luton,
Credit: PA
The King met volunteers at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara. Credit: PA

King Charles III wore a traditional headscarf as he toured a Sikh gurdwara and met volunteers to find out how they support their local community.

He had earlier been greeted by crowds as he made his first visit to Luton as monarch, spending time at the town hall and taking a ride on a new passenger shuttle to Luton Airport.

The King spent time meeting and greeting well-wishers outside the town hall, as many in the crowd waved Union Jacks and held their phones aloft to get a photograph of the new monarch.

He appeared relaxed as he met members of the public, just a day after the Duke of Sussex spoke of a “dirty game” in a trailer for his new Netflix series.

At one point, he was ushered to one side by his security detail after an egg was thrown at him. A man in his 20s was later arrested, said police.

The King was wished Merry Christmas by the crowds, many of whom had brought presents. Credit: PA

Onlooker Gita Dahyabhai, who was cheering in the crowds, said she felt the King's visit was a significant endorsement for Luton.

"It's great news to have the King in Luton because it's a great privilege for the community and the council, and all the people around," she said. "He's looking at the community as a whole, so that's really great."

Her friend Jacquie Harding added: "I think he's a fabulous person. It's really an honour for us in Luton to have him come to visit us so early."

After meeting crowds, the King then entered the building, where he met volunteers and staff, before emerging on the town hall balcony to wave once more to crowds.

Later, at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in the town he met staff and volunteers to find out about the work they do for the community, including offering free meals and a foodbank.

The King spent time speaking to volunteers about their community work. Credit: PA

The King, who had a plaster on his left thumb, removed his shoes and put on a Ramaal headscarf in the Sikh place of worship.

He bowed in front of the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, and sat cross-legged on the floor, wearing an orange scarf over his suit, before being invited to unveil a plaque to mark the official opening of the Gurdwara.

The plaque included Tuesday’s date, and the King joked that it was a good job he “turned up on the right day”.

During his visit to the Gurdwara he met women in the kitchen who cook for hundreds of people every day, and marvelled at their work with dough.

“Isn’t it wonderful how they inflate?” he said, asking if there is a “secret” to the method.

The King speaks to Prof Gurch Randhawa, a member of the Sikh congregation at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Luton. Credit: PA

The King has made several previous visits to the town as Prince of Wales, including in 1985 when he opened a new terminal at Luton Airport.

Before leaving for his next engagement, he met children from St Matthew’s Primary School.

His visit came a day after a one-minute teaser for the six-part Netflix series Harry & Meghan was released on Monday in which the duke discusses the “pain and suffering” of women marrying into the royal family.

Netflix confirmed volume one will launch on December 8 – exactly three months after the death of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II – with the second volume to be released on December 15.

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