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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 08:38 GMT
Harry and life at Sandhurst
By Lucy Wilkins
BBC News

Shooting range at Sandhurst
Being able to shoot straight is a key skill for a soldier
Prince Harry could do without the distraction caused by a newspaper report about a breach in Sandhurst security as he undergoes his gruelling training there.

For the first five weeks of the training at the prestigious military academy, which ended for Harry on Friday, he will have been woken at 0520 BST, probably not getting to bed until midnight, seven days a week.

He will have been expected to keep his tiny austere room tidy, with no personal photos, mobile phone or radio for entertainment.

Cadets who are on the verge of graduating from the one-year course say the top tip is to have a good iron and ironing board, for getting the three sets of uniform wrinkle free.

Officer Cadet Jeremy Quarrie, 24, also said it would help if the prince had a mini vacuum cleaner.

Endurance training at Sandhurst
Mud, sweat and tears are a common sight at Sandhurst

Mr Quarrie recently headed to Bosnia for 10 days with the Grenadier Guards before beginning a platoon commander course.

Such specialist training could be available to Harry after the 44-week commissioning course, but only if he passes the rigorous training, both physical and academic, on which the military school prides itself.


However, the academy is trying to keep his progress secret from the public.

"I respect the privacy of every cadet here and would not dream of divulging their performance, so I don't see why I should do that for Prince Harry," academy commandant Maj Gen Andrew Ritchie said before the prince arrived.

He emphasised that Prince Harry would be treated the same as any other cadet.

"I was asked whether we should brief the cadets on what to call him. I said bollocks [to that].

"Instructors and sergeants, drawn from the very best of the Army, are used to dealing with all shapes of men and women, and I trust them to get it right."

Sandhurst grounds
The sprawling Sandhurst grounds provide some calm spots

Despite Thursday's report of a Sun reporter gaining access to Sandhurst, Maj Gen Ritchie says the academy is "arguably more secure than St Andrew's University" (where Prince William studied).

Harry may be given special passouts for royal duties if he "commits himself to Sandhurst in the same way as others", he said.

After completing their first five weeks of training last Friday, Harry and the other cadets were allowed their first weekend off.

Most of them will have slept.

The officers said they typically took young people, 85% of whom are graduates, who have been used to working for five hours and sleeping for 20 hours - "and reversed that".

"A lot of them struggle," Maj Gen Ritchie said.

At times he'll definitely be tired, possibly wet, but will have a good bunch of guys and girls around to support him
Officer cadet Ed Docwra

Harry has gained a reputation for enjoying parties and visiting nightclubs, but it is yet to be seen whether he will have the energy to last the distance at Sandhurst.

Starting from this week, partly as a reward for completing the first five weeks, Harry and his counterparts will have been allowed a quilt on their beds, personal pictures on the wall, and even a radio.

To be trained "generic" soldiers, graduate cadets receive 22,000 while non-graduates get 13,000 a year, out of which weekly food and lodging of up to 200 is paid.

As well as being able to shoot straight and give commands, they are also taught such wide-ranging topics as defence policy and international affairs, stress in the workplace and non-verbal communication, insurgency and "battle shock".

Prince Harry could even find himself in the middle of a mock riot, with petrol bombs being thrown around him and "aggressors" coming at him, to show the young recruits, average age 24, what genuine fear is like.

Prince Harry during a fitness test

Current officer cadet Ed Docwra, 24, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, said: "Harry should be prepared to work hard.

"At times he'll definitely be tired, possibly wet, but will have a good bunch of guys and girls around to support him."

Mr Docwra is expecting to be sent overseas early next year, either to Iraq or Afghanistan.

"I don't mind where I'm sent. I'm looking forward to it - it's what I've been trained for."

Other famous figures who attended Sandhurst include the Sultan of Brunei, Prince Michael of Kent and Sir Winston Churchill.

Nick Tobin, about to become a 2nd Lieutenant and be sent to Iraq, said: "So much royalty comes through here that they're used to it.

"[The sergeants] don't mind who they shout at."

His advice to Harry, apart from the ironing board tip, is "to be open-minded and be prepared for any situation."

Officer Cadet Ashley Edwards said: "Work on the press-ups."

An ironing masterclass
10 May 05 |  Magazine

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