Play / pause Balbir Flora MBE

Balbir Flora MBE

  • Balbir Flora
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


I've been very, very lucky.

I've been honored by the Queen twice,

so I had Queen's Birthday Honors

and Queen's New Year's Honors.

One of them was an MBE, so having to go to the Palace,

you know, to actually pick up your MBE,

where you go in your uniform and you're smart,

and that, as military personnel, we're sort of very OCD

about something like that.

So I'd spend days ironing my uniform and polishing my shoes

and got to my wife's sister's house in London,

and even that night, even though the shoes were immaculate,

I was still there trying to bull them up a bit more.

And then stopped at a petrol station

just down the road from Buckingham Palace to change

because I didn't want too many creases in my uniform.

And then standing up so that you look immaculate.

It's that sort of thing, you know.

But a massive, massive experience

to actually go to the Palace

and then we did a quick photo shoot outside,

inside the ground, inside the fence,

and all the tourists, they were just shocked

at this Sikh guy, you know, holding the medal

and they all started taking pictures of me.

I thought, you know, what are you doing?

I'm just trying to do a photo for myself.

It's just bizarre because obviously they don't see

somebody in this military uniform as a Sikh.

  • Balbir Flora

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