October 21, 2005 01:00 PM

Prince William is following in his younger brother’s footsteps. The royal, second in line to the British throne, will join the army next year, having been admitted to Sandhurst, an elite military academy, palace officials announced Friday.

William gained entry after passing the regular Commissions Board selection, a series of tests that measure the physical, mental and emotional capacities of would-be army officers, Reuters reports.

He will be entering the academy as an officer cadet, but he has made it clear that he expects no preferential treatment – even before it was clear he planned to enlist.

“The last thing I want to be is mollycoddled or wrapped in cotton wool,” he said last year. “If I was to join the army, I would want to go where my men went and I would want to do what they did.”

While William said he was happy to have passed his entrance exam, he added in a statement: “I am only too well aware, having spoken so much to Harry, that this is just the beginning.”

For Harry, who entered Sandhurst first and will hold a senior rank to William, it means the elder brother will have to salute the younger prince.

Earlier this year, William graduated from St. Andrews University in Scotland with a geography degree. He will go to work for banking giant HSBC until he enters the academy next year.

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