Queen makes first visit to British Sikh temple

Queen Elizabeth visited a British Sikh temple for the first time as part of a nationwide tour marking her 50 years on the throne.

Thursday's trip, during which she was greeted as the "queen of all faiths", came a day after Elizabeth's first visit to a British mosque.

Royal aides are keen to include all of Britain's major faiths in celebrations marking the queen's golden jubilee.

Wearing a lilac hat, the monarch slipped off her shoes and put on slippers before meeting community leaders in the colourful prayer hall of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, a Sikh temple in Leicester, central England.

Afterwards, in the temple's museum, she was presented with a gold ceremonial sword.

Resham Singh Sandhu, chairman of Leicester's Council of Faiths, which brings together representatives of the city's religions, told Elizabeth: "You have shown the nation that you are the queen of all faiths.

"On you we place our affection, respect, love and loyalty."

The monarch was above sectarianism and narrow loyalties, he said.

"You unite your people on the basis of the essentials of humanity; your relentless service knows no boundaries or limitations."

On Wednesday, the queen visited a mosque at the Scunthorpe Islamic Centre in northern England.