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Royal Parade at BRNC

12 April 2017
His Royal Highness The Duke of York has taken the salute at Britannia Royal Naval College today as 155 Officer Cadets celebrated the successful completion of their training.

In front of around 800 families, friends and distinguished guests His Royal Highness inspected the successful Cadets as the representative of his father His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Lord High Admiral.

Those passing-out included nearly 100 destined for careers in the Royal Navy, one new recruit to the Queen Alexander Royal Navy Nursing Service, 38 Officers promoted from the ranks, 14 new members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service and seven international Cadets from Saudi Arabia, Kenyan, Belize, Tonga, the Bahamas and Fiji.

Addressing the parade His Royal Highness said:  “You have undergone a period of training, a period of acclimatisation and a period of hard work.  

You have a great deal to look forward to and I have to say it is an enormous pleasure to be here today to see that the traditions and values that I undertook when I was here are still being inculcated into you.

His Royal Highness The Duke of York

“Some of that hard work is now done, but life in the Royal Navy never ceases to be hard work, but at the same time it never ceases to be fun. 

“If there is one thing that I could instil or say to you today to take away from not only this, but what is coming in the future, is the fact that the Navy survives on really good leadership. 

“You have had at least some of that leadership show to you and you have participated in that leadership training whilst you have been here. 

“There’s a second part to that leadership that is important, which is as leaders you have to get the most out of your team. 

“You have a great deal to look forward to and I have to say it is an enormous pleasure to be here today to see that the traditions and values that I undertook when I was here are still being inculcated into you.”

At aged 18 Midshipman Bethany Ward, from Plymouth, was one of the youngest Officers on parade.  She is following in the footsteps of her father, Commander Steven Ward, in choosing a career in the Royal Navy.

The former pupil of Devonport High School for Girls said: “I’ve joined the Royal Navy to become a Mine Clearance Diving Officer, to challenge myself and start a varied and interesting career. 

“I’ve found training a challenge; however it has been hugely rewarding.

“It has taught me a lot about myself and I have learnt so many different skills that I may never have acquired as a civilian.

“Most importantly it has shaped me as a person, and given me new experiences and lifelong friends.”

The parade also saw the first presentation of the Lord High Admiral’s Banner funded by the Britannia Association. 

The Banner, created with the permission of The Duke of Edinburgh, is to be carried by the Division that achieves the best overall assessment results during the 30-week course.  The first winners were Lightning Division led by Officer Cadet Lloyd Jones.

Captain Jol Woodard, the Commanding Officer of BRNC, said:  “The Lord High Admiral’s Banner provides an extra incentive for the Cadets to surpass themselves during their training and introduces another level of healthy competition. 

“It was a close run competition with just one point separating the second and third place Division.   We are honoured to have His Royal Highness here with us at the most prestigious passing-out-parade of the year. 

“The Cadets passing out today have been tested in a range of situations on Dartmoor, the River Dart, at sea and in the classroom. 

“They have met the standards we require of them and thoroughly deserve their place on the parade ground.”

The Duke of York undertook his own initial naval training at BRNC in 1979 and went on to completed 22 years of Service in the Royal Navy. 

He took part in the Falklands Conflict in 1982 as a helicopter pilot operating from HMS Invincible.  His Royal Highness served on a number of other ships and in a variety of roles ashore before leaving the Service in July 2001 in the rank of Commander.

In July 2005 the Duke of York was promoted to Captain and was appointed Commodore in Chief of the Fleet Air Arm in 2006.

In February 2010, he was promoted to Rear Admiral on the occasion of his 50th birthday and in 2015 was promoted to his current rank of Vice-Admiral. 

His Royal Highness was the guest of honour at Lord High Admiral’s Divisions in 2013. 

The title of Lord High Admiral dates back to the 14th Century, and was conferred to The Duke of Edinburgh by Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2011.

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