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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 January 2006, 17:38 GMT
William beginning military career
Prince William meets Major General Andrew Ritchie, Commandant of Sandhurst
Prince William was met by Andrew Ritchie, Commandant of Sandhurst
Prince William has arrived at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in Surrey where he will begin his army career.

The 23-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, is the most senior royal in recent history to train there.

Prince Charles accompanied his son to the elite military academy, where William's younger brother Harry is half-way through officer training.

Prince William passed his Regular Commissions Board (RCB) to gain entry to the college, last October.

At the time he said: "I am absolutely delighted to have got over the first hurdle, but I am only too well aware, having spoken so much to Harry, that this is just the beginning.

"I am really looking forward to taking my place alongside all the other cadets at Sandhurst."

They have been used to working for four hours a day and sleeping for 20, and we reverse that
Gen Andrew Ritchie

On Sunday the academy's commandant, Gen Andrew Ritchie, told BBC News that William's decision to attend was a "great privilege for Sandhurst and the Army".

As a 23-year-old recent graduate, the prince was "very typical of the young men and women joining today", Gen Ritchie added.

"They have been used to working for four hours a day and sleeping for 20, and we reverse that," he joked.

William would be woken at 0600 GMT on Monday and issued with his kit, Gen Ritchie told BBC News.

And, despite sporting a relatively short-back-and-sides on his arrival, the prince "may well receive another haircut" the commandant added.


Senior officers and palace officials will have to decide where the King-in-waiting can be deployed.

In an interview in 2004, Prince William - who will eventually become the head of Britain's armed forces - said he did not want to be protected from military life.

"I'd want to go where my men went and I'd want to do what they did," he said.

Prince Harry has said he is looking forward to the fact that as a new recruit his older brother will have to salute him when he arrives.

Capt James Coleby, an officer at Sandhurst, told BBC News the prince would spend his frist five weeks at the academy ironing uniforms, polishing boots and learning basic soldiering skills, including handling weapons.

"The main part of the next five weeks will be training him from what was a civilian to what he is then to become, a basic soldier."

Capt Coleby added: "After five weeks initial training, he then has slightly more freedom."

Asked whether the prince would receive special treatment, Capt Coleby said he would be "treated exactly the same as every other officer cadet here".

See Prince William arrive at Sandhurst

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