By Azaraimy HH
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night left for the United Kingdom, where His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen is scheduled to complete his 44-week-long Commissioning Officers' Cadet Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in Surrey.
His Majesty is accompanied by HRH Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah.
Bidding farewell to His Majesty at the Brunei International Airport last night were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik.
His Majesty is also expected to attend the opening of a new office for the Brunei Investment Agency in London.
HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen enrolled for the one-year-long Commissioning Officers' Cadet Course at the RMAS last year.
His Majesty graduated himself from the hallowed halls of RMAS in October 1967.
Enrolling under the Academy's 102nd Intake at the age of 19, HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen's 44-week course officially began on Sunday, May 9, 2010 and will end on April 15, 2011.
Having successfully completed his secondary education at the Jerudong International School, the challenges that the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst posed to HRH were a true test of character that could not be emulated at any other academic university in the world. Successfully 'graduating' from Sandhurst carries with it the entrusted reputation and recognition of leadership, responsibility and duty.
Each new intake number approximately 270 cadets, each of whom join a company. The commissioning course is split up into three terms, each lasting 14 weeks, and on each course cadets are put into one of three companies. There can be as many as 10 companies within the RMAS at any one time, each commanded by a Major and named after a famous battle the British Army has fought.
The final event that every successful officer cadet looks forward to is the Sovereign's Parade. It is the grandest day in the Sandhurst calendar as friends, family and VIPs gather before Old College Square to watch the cadets take part in their final challenge.
During the ceremony, the Sword of Honour, the Overseas Sword and the Queen's Medal are awarded by the Sovereign's Representative to the top officer cadets.
The parade traditionally ends with the Adjutant riding his horse up the steps of Old College as he follows the graduating officer cadets through the Grand Entrance.
After a formal lunch with friends, family and Regimental Officers, the day concludes in spectacular and celebratory fashion at the exclusive Commissioning Ball, where, at the stroke of midnight, the newly commissioned Second Lieutenants proudly display their rank insignia for the first time.
- Borneo Bulletin
(12th April 2011)