There was a strong royal presence at the Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst on Friday, as Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg graduated from the prestigious military academy.
King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan watched as their eldest son, Crown Prince Hussein, paraded amongst the newly appointed officers, with Rania posting several photos of the day on her public Instagram account.
The proud parents were accompanied by their other children, Prince Hashem and Princesses Iman and Salma. The King himself is a graduate of Sandhurst, as are many Royals, including our own Princes William and Harry.
Congratulations on graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in the footsteps of your father, we are both so very proud of you! pic.twitter.com/V80nYtEZ9O
— Rania Al Abdullah (@QueenRania) August 11, 2017
Proud of you, son, as you conclude this important chapter in your life and devotedly carry on serving our beloved Jordan pic.twitter.com/bhf8Z9ZPGy
— عبدالله بن الحسين (@KingAbdullahII) August 11, 2017
In addition to playing the proud father, King Abdullah attended the ceremony in an official capacity, as Reviewing Officer on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. This is not the first time King Abdullah has represented The Queen at the Sovereign’s Parade; he oversaw the ceremony in 2006, as did his late father, King Hussein, in 1981, when the current Jordanian monarch graduated.
Traditionally, the British Sovereign attends the graduation ceremony, or appoints the leader of another country with close links to the UK to do so on their behalf. Jordan was under British control for some of the 20th century, and King Abdullah’s mother is actually British by birth.
As Reviewing Officer, the Jordanian King delivered a speech to the new officers and their guests, urging the graduates to ‘strive to be the best’, as well as emphasising the great responsibility they will hold in their future careers. He also reflected on his own days as a Sandhurst cadet, claiming it was a ‘distinct pleasure’ to address his fellow alumni. Abdullah inspected the officers, and presented medals to some of the cadets, including the Al Hussein medal, which was named for his father, and is awarded to the cadet who improved most throughout training.
— RHC (@RHCJO) August 12, 2017
The Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg, led by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, were also out in force to watch their youngest son graduate from the academy. Sébastien’s older brothers, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Félix also attended the ceremony, with their wives, Princess Stéphanie and Princess Claire. Henri, Guillaume and Félix are all alumni of Sandhurst, too.
Sandhurst has a long-standing tradition of royal attendees, with many international Royal Families sending their children there, as well as the British Monarchy, such is the high-regard in which the British Army is held.