Cementing the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s position as one of the world’s premier centres of excellence in leadership training, there was a distinct international flavour to Commissioning Course 191’s passing off parade, renowned the world over as the Sovereign’s Parade.
The parade at which Her Royal Highness Sophie, Countess of Wessex represented Her Majesty as the inspecting officer marks the culmination of a year’s training.
Starting at the beginning of January, the year saw the Officer Cadets progress through three terms: 44 weeks of robust training that both challenges and stimulates physically and academically.
Among the principal guests were Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Malaysia as proud parents of their son Officer Cadet Shah and Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir of Qatar who had three close members of his family commissioning into their army from Sandhurst.
Joining them in the audience were some fifteen ambassadors and high commissioners as well as eighteen defence attaches.
A total of 243 Officer Cadets including 38 international cadets from 24 countries, from as far afield as Bangladesh, Colombia and Ukraine and USA, marched up the imposing steps of the Academy’s Old College to become Army officers.
Strictly speaking, the Cadets will commission into the Army on the stroke of midnight on the day of the Sovereign’s Parade in celebratory style during the Commissioning Ball.
The principal awards went to the following Officer Cadets;
- The Sword of Honour (Awarded to the Officer Cadet considered the best of their intake by the Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst), presented to Officer Cadet Arkell, who will commission into the Parachute Regiment.
- The International Sword (Awarded to the International Officer Cadet considered the best of their intake by the Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst), presented to Officer Cadet Al Alawi from Oman.
- The Queen’s Medal (Awarded to the Officer Cadet who attains the highest scores in military, academic and practical test), presented to Officer Cadet Perry who will commission in the Royal Scots.