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Prince William takes part in the Sovereign's Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

15th December 2006

Prince William has received his commission as an officer in the Army today in front of his grandmother Her Majesty The Queen at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).

The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke of Edinburgh also attended the Sovereign’s Parade which marks the end of Prince William’s 44-week course.

Prince William, who is 24, became a Second Lieutenant as he passed out with more than 220 officers from RMAS in Camberley, Surrey.

Like his brother Prince Harry, Prince William is joining the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. His rank is also known as a Cornet.

Prince William, who will one day be head of the Armed Forces, will now train to become a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit. He will eventually be in charge of about a dozen men.

The Queen, accompanied by the Military Academy's Commandant Major General Peter Pearson, inspected the new officers as they stood to attention.

When she came to William's platoon she stopped briefly in front of her grandson and said a few words which made the young prince smile for a moment.

The soldiers later marched past The Queen, first in slow time, then in quick as she stood on the dais.

Prince William's height meant he acted as a marker at the end of the line and ensured the cadets marched straight as they passed family, friends and dignitaries.

He was wearing a red sash to signify that his platoon had earned the honour of carrying the Sovereign's banner.

During the 44-week course the nine platoons in Prince William’s intake competed for this privilege and received scores for a range of activities - from shooting to drill, to a timed log race.

Prince William was given the role of accompanying the flag, marching with a rifle rather than a ceremonial sword like most of the other new officers.

The Queen told William and the other soldiers in her speech that much was expected of them.

"I am speaking to every individual one of you when I say you are very special people."

She added: "A great deal will be expected of you.

"You must be courageous yet selfless, leaders yet carers, confident yet considerate.

"And you must be all these things in some of the most challenging environments around the world so that men and women will willingly follow your lead into every possible situation with absolute trust in your judgment.

"These are very special attributes, but those whom you will command, and your country too, will expect nothing less."