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Princess Anne visits Britannia Royal Naval College for Lord High Admiral’s Divisions

PRINCESS Anne visited Britannia Royal Naval College on Thursday to see the Lord High Admiral’s Divisions.
The parade was kicked off by the Royal Marine marching band, before the cadets all marched in. 154 cadets passed out on Thursday after completing their 30-week initial naval training course. 332 Navy personnel were on parade – representing ten different countries.
They included a platoon from the Royal Fleet Artillery, who had completed a ten-week course at BRNC and 30 platoon from HMS Raleigh. Guests of the cadets lined up three abreast in some places to get a view of the parade ground.
Her Royal Highness arrived by helicopter and inspected the cadets, stopping to talk to them as she made her rounds. As she was making her way around, a Wildcat and a Merlin combat helicopter performed a fly past, much to the delight of the gathered crowd.
Princess Anne then presented prizes to cadets and staff who had shown ‘extraordinary’ abilities in their roles. She then made a speech, congratulating the cadets and wishing them well for the future.
She said that the support of family and friends could never be ‘underestimated’ in the journey to becoming members of the armed forces, and thanked those who had supported the cadets there on Thursday.
She said their training at BRNC was the first step in their naval careers and that some of the training they received, ‘may not have been obvious at the time’ but that it would ‘become obvious later’. She said BRNC had given them ‘the most rigorous and relevant training that they needed to become officers in the Royal Navy’.
She made reference to the fact that Dartmouth had such a connection with the Royal Navy as Dartmouth had been a ‘hot bed of pirate activity’ during medieval times and that Dartmouth had always defended merchants and sailors from danger, and the Royal Navy had been ‘essential’.
Princess Anne then wished the cadets luck with all of their future endeavours before taking her place at the top of the parade ground to receive the salutes of the cadets as they marched back into the college, followed by, as soon as the doors were closed, a loud cheer of celebration.
One of the officers on parade was Lieutenant David Clark, alongside his first class of Officer Cadets.
The 42-year-old was appointed to BRNC in September 2015 as a Divisional Training Officer. His first class joined the same month and over the last 30 weeks, Lt Clark has guided the Cadets through their training helping them to achieve the standards required to earn their place on the parade ground.
Lt Clark joined the Royal Navy as a Rating in 1991 and was promoted to the Officer Corps in 2008, passing out at Lord High Admiral’s Divisions when Her Majesty The Queen was the guest of honour.
He said: ‘Coming through Britannia Royal Naval College to become an Officer was a career path I never thought was open to me when I first joined, coming from a comprehensive education. ‘However, if you work hard, stay focused and believe in yourself then your aspirations can become reality. I was extremely proud when I passed out of BRNC as a Naval Officer. My class colleagues selected me to be the class leader for the day of the parade and I had the honour of meeting the Queen.
‘I feel immensely privileged to be assigned to BRNC as a Divisional Officer as I have the opportunity to instil some of my enthusiasm, knowledge and character in the next generation of Naval Leaders.
‘I’ve invested a significant amount of time in each and every one of my Officer Cadets and the transformation from civilian to Naval Officer has been remarkable. I’m immensely proud of how they’ve developed both as individuals and professionally and wish them every success for the future.’
Lord High Admiral’s Divisions is the most prestigious parade in the BRNC calendar. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal represented her father, The Duke of Edinburgh, who was conferred as Lord High Admiral in 2011 by Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
Her Royal Highness has a long association with the Royal Navy. She holds the rank of Admiral as Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy and has special relationships with HMS Talent and HMS Albion. The Princess Royal is also Commodore-in-Chief for Portsmouth.

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