A Ugandan has risen through the ranks of Britainâ€™s Royal Horse Artillery to become its first black commander since its inception 256 years ago, the British press reported yesterday.
Captain Ben Sempala-Ntege is to become the first black officer to take command of an elite horse unit in the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, The Sun reported on Monday.
The Sun said Sempala, 27, will command the Kingâ€™s Troop during the event on June 12, 2004.
â€œColour plays no part in the Army. I am extremely proud to be the first black officer in the Royal Horse Artillery ever to take part in the Queenâ€™s Birthday Parade,â€ Sempala said yesterday.
Sempala, who fled Ugandan dictator Idi Amin with his parents at the age of one, will lead 28 men, 38 horses and a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Whitehall and then back to receive the Royal Salute.
The military pageant also involves the Household Division of Foot Guards and Household Cavalry on Horseguards Parade in Whitehall.
First performed for King Charles II, it has been staged in London since 1748.
The Queen has attended the annual parade every year of her reign except in 1955.
Ugandan heads UK royal horse artillery