Prince Harry passes out. (He's now a 2nd Lieutentant.)

Today, Prince Harry passed out. Not because he has drunk too much alcohol (again), but because it was his passing out parade.

Times Online April 12, 2006

Prince Harry will now train to be a troop commander and could be sent to either Iraq or Afghanistan (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Prince Harry passes out
By Simon Freeman

Prince Harry became an officer in the Army after a solemn passing out parade at Sandhurst today under the gaze of the world's media and his grandparents.

After a 40-minute ceremony, the third in line to the throne paraded off the Royal Military Academy's historic quadrangle with 400 other cadets to the military strains of God Bless the Prince of Wales and the traditional march, Auld Lang Syne.

The Prince, 21, who was last week chastised for joining friends at a lapdancing club, is now a 2nd Lieutenant, known as a cornet, in the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals. He will serve in an armoured reconnaissance unit and train to become a troop commander, in charge of 11 men and four light tanks.

One senior Army officer said that it was "eminently possible" that he could be serving in a conflict zone within 12 months, although he is likely require at least one four-man SAS protection unit.

Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales, arrived at the academy in Camberley, Surrey, dressed in uniform with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, who wore a dark purple outfit and a black hat.

The Prince's older brother William is a term behind in training at the college, and dressed in a dark uniform with white gloves he sat with fellow cadets watching from the stands.

Hundreds of proud parents looked on as the new recruits marched on to the parade ground and were barked at for probably the last time by the Academy Adjutant Major Stephen Segrave.

When the Queen arrived to inspect the young officers they stood to attention as the National Anthem was played.

It is the first time the Queen has attended the ceremony in 15 years. She passed through the lines chatting to some of the officers and gave her grandson a beaming smile, which was returned by the young Prince as his cheeks flushed red.

The Queen addressed the newly-commissioned officers and inspected those on parade. She told them: "This is a very special occasion for me, as it is for all of you who are gaining your commissions today. It is also a great occasion for your family and friends.

"This day marks the beginning of what I hope will be highly-successful careers as officers in the British Army or the armies of our friends and allies and I am pleased to see so many cadets from the Commonwealth and other countries on parade.

"Many people seem to believe that the preparation to become an officer is merely a matter of acquiring some basic understanding of military procedures and of achieving high standards in physical fitness. I believe that there is more to it than that. It is also the first step in learning how to become leaders."

Tradition dictates that the "pips" on Harry’s shoulder - one star signalling his new rank as 2nd Lieutenant - remain covered up until midnight at the Sandhurst ball this evening.

Prince Harry, who has not entirely lost his reputation for partying, will be there to rip off the tape when the clock strikes midnight. His girlfriend Chelsy Davy is also set to accompany him to the ball.

In a recent interview he said that he wanted to serve in the front line: “There is no way I am going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my **** back home while my boys are out fighting for their country."

Major-General Roberts, who is the general officer commanding London District and also Major-General Commanding the Household Division, described Harry as an "enthusiastic and capable" officer. He said that Harry, in his role as an officer in charge of troops, would face new challenges.

"He will be entirely responsible for every aspect of their lives."

Asked about recent episodes involving the Prince which have been reported by the press, the General Roberts replied: "As far as those episodes, I think it’s good to remember the motto of his regiment ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (shame on him who thinks evil of it)."
Yo Blackleaf- see Johnny Utahs post.

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