These photos were taken way back in 1999....hard to believe!
By this time Chris had moved into Old College and was only 6 weeks away from the Sovereigns Parade where cadets are commissioned fully into the army. Their shoulder 'pips' indicating the lowly rank of second lieutenant are covered with cloth tape. On the stroke of midnight at the grand ball that follows, their partner to the ball is invited to remove the tapes. Parents and family are not encouraged to attend the ball...and is there any wonder....laughing.
The original design for Old College was drawn up by James Wyatt who also designed the RMA Woolwich building, but his design was adapted by John Saunders, architect to the Barrack Department of the War Office. The building was completed in 1812 by the builder Alexander Copeland for a final cost of some £350,000.
Above the Grand Entrance to Old College the pediment bears a roundel of the monogram of King George III flanked by Mars and Minerva, the gods of War and Wisdom.
The occasion involved us going straight to breakfast...at 5.30am, or so we thought. To 'blow off the cobwebs' guests were formed into ranks, marched three times around the parade ground and then into a hearty breakfast. We were assured by a very fearsome Company Sergeant Major Clarke that this was 'for your own good gentlemen'...gulp.
The custom of the Adjutant riding his horse (always a grey), up the steps at the end of the Sovereign's Parade dates from 1926 when Major (later Lieutenant General) F "Boy" Browning accomplished this feat, though there is no explanation for why he did this!
Have a great Friday all.