Stephen M. Silverman
January 09, 2006 08:00 AM

Prince William is in the army now, with the young royal beginning his formal training Sunday at his country’s elite yet rigorous Sandhurst academy, whose alumni includes King Hussein of Jordan, the Sultan of Brunei and the late Winston Churchill.

In what is often considered the greatest indignity of starting service, recruits must also have their hair shorn by an army barber. As the Scotsman newspaper reports, the cropped-top look may accentuate William’s premature baldness.

The 23-year-old elder son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, who was accompanied to his first day by his father, became one of the 270 recruits taking the 44-week course, which also required him to bring his own ironing board as well as heavy black military boots.

Like other recruits, Officer Cadet Wales will be expected to rise at dawn, polish boots, iron shirts, put up with endless room inspections and wash his own clothes, the Associated Press reports, noting that Sandhurst is known to push recruits to exhaustion.

For once, William succeeds his younger brother, Prince Harry – who enrolled at Sandhurst in May, although the two are separated. William is with the new recruits in Old College, while Harry, 21, is at New College.

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