Royal Watch News
Prince William turns army officer as girlfriend looks on (Roundup)
Dec 15, 2006, 17:04 GMT
London - Britain's Prince William received his commission as an officer in the British Army at a ceremonial parade at Sandhurst military academy Friday watched by his girlfriend, Kate Middleton.
The presence of Middleton, 24, and her mother, at the traditional passing-out parade heightened speculation that the Prince, also 24, could soon be announcing his engagement.
For Kate, clad in a scarlet winter coat and black hat, it was the first invitation to a high-profile public event attended by Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and other senior members of the royal family.
She gave a relaxed smile as William marched past in what is known as the Sovereign's Parade with more than 220 other officer cadets who also received their commissions.
William and Kate met at St. Andrew's university in Scotland, where they both studied, and have been going out together since 2002.
William, now at the rank of Second Lieutenant, is to join the elite regiment of the Blues and Royals after his graduation from Sandhurst.
His commanding officer, Major General Sebastian Roberts, said Friday it could not be ruled out that William, second in line to the throne, would 'serve in dangerous situations.'
'I don't think it would be sensible to rule any of those things in or out,' said Roberts.
Both William, and his younger brother Harry, who graduated from Sandhurst in April this year, have said they are prepared to fight in zones of conflict.
Addressing the newly-commissioned officers, the Queen said that a 'great deal' would be expected from them.
'You must be courageous yet selfless, leaders yet carers, confident yet considerate,' she said.
These qualities would be required from young British officers serving in the 'most challenging environments around the world,' the Queen added.
Prince Charles and his second wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, were also watching.
The ceremony came a day after the official investigation into the death of Princess Diana in Paris in 1997 dismissed all conspiracy theories and said she died in a 'tragic accident.'
The royal family hopes that the police report will end the doubts and speculation over Diana's death in a Paris car crash almost 10 years ago.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur