What Is The Sovereign's Parade?

Everything you need to know about the tradition which dates back to 1948.

The Sovereign's Parade takes place on Friday - here is everything you need to know about the tradition which dates back to 1948.

Three times a year, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst holds its ceremonies for the passing out of the Senior Divisions and their final parade.

There are three intakes over the course of the year at Sandhurst and all training Officers take part in the parade.

Cadets are inspected by the Sovereign, or her representative, and participate in a range of events in front of them and their honoured guests.

Guests are usually visiting dignitaries who watch the Sovereign's Parade alongside the families of those who are graduating.

For those taking part, it is a chance to be awarded the Sword of Honour, the Overseas Sword and the Queen's Medal for those who have excelled during training.

Countess of Wessex at Sovereign's Parade 141219 CREDIT BFBS
The Countess of Wessex served as the Sovereign's representative for the parade last year.

The parade traditionally ends with the Adjutant riding their horse up the steps of Old College following the graduating Officer Cadets through the Grand Entrance.

This year has been different for graduate soldiers as the academy has taken into account the need to maintain social distancing measures through lockdown and tier restrictions.

The latest parade in August saw the graduating group of 213 only able to invite two guests as part of wider adaptations to normal proceedings.

The cohort marched on and performed their drill movements in open order, maintaining distance from one another.

In unique circumstances, only two divisions paraded rather than the usual three.

The next parade, scheduled for 11 December, will likely happen under similar circumstances before the graduates commission into their selected regiment or corps, or return to their home countries.

Cover image: Officer Cadets pass out at Sandhurst's Sovereign's Parade in August (Picture: MOD).