The royal began his 44 weeks of officer training Sunday, arriving with Prince Charles

By Ellen Tumposky
Updated May 09, 2005 08:00 AM

Prince Harry began his tough new life in the Army on Sunday, arriving with his father Prince Charles at the historic Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for 44 weeks of officer training.

As might be expected, there was ceremony attached to his arrival: The 20-year-old Prince, wearing a gray suit and blue tie with his red hair cropped short, was driven up to Sandhurst in his father’s metal-green Audi station wagon, followed by two Range Rovers containing staff and police protection officers.

Waiting to greet him were the three Army men who will now be bossing Harry around: college commandant Major General Andrew Ritchie; academy adjutant Major George Waters; and warrant officer class 1 Major Vince Gaunt.

Harry, looking nervous, and Charles, shook hands with the trio before sharing tea and biscuits with other parents and cadets in the Indian Army Memorial Room. Forty-five minutes later, they came out, Harry now wearing a red metal name tag that read: “Wales.” Charles gave Harry a playful punch on the arm before leaving, and Harry shook hands goodbye with his private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.

In a statement issued by Clarence House, Harry said: “I am really excited. I want to get on with it and do the best job I can do.”

Like all cadets, Harry will have his own 9-ft.-by-9-ft. room containing a bed, sink, wardrobe, and desk, and he will be expected to do his own laundry. New recruits are not allowed to leave the grounds of Sandhurst for the first five weeks, during which they are forbidden alcohol – and allowed to drink only moderately after that time. Jewelry is “frowned on,” Ritchie said, so it seems Harry will be shedding the beaded bracelets and wristbands he often sports.

Asked if the prince has what it takes to get through Sandhurst, Ritchie told the press: “Of course, he has. Every cadet has passed the selection process. Every one has got it in them.” The major general added: “He did very well on his selection course. He’s a physically fit young man who’s determined to be an Army officer.”