Midlands Cadets commissioned in first parade since Charles III became monarch

  • Midlands officer cadets were among the first to be commissioned into the British Army under the King. ITV Central's Lara Davies reports.

Two officer cadets from the Midlands are among the first to be commissioned into the British Army since Charles III became King.

The Sovereign's Parade, at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, marked the end of their intensive 44 weeks of training.

Emily Nelson, from Lichfield, was one of the cadets who reached that milestone.

In an interview with ITV News Central she said: "Everyone's so proud of each other and I'm so proud of myself.

"I had to stop myself smiling in the parade, and I burst into tears after walking up the steps at the end."

  • Newly-commissioned officer cadet Emily Nelson reflects on the parade

Thousands of friends and family attended the parade, with the largest numbers in more than three years, due to the pandemic.

There was a celebratory mood among the graduates, who officially held the King's Commission after the stroke of midnight on the day of the parade.

Officer cadet Ethan Knight, from Glenfield in Leicestershire, said: "It's been 70 years since the last King was commissioned, so it's a great honour and a privilege."

The University of Birmingham, graduate is going on to become a mechanical engineer in the army.

His mum, Jennifer Knight, said: "Really, really proud we are. It somebody in our family that's gone all the way."

There was a "full-circle" moment for the family as Ethan's grandfather watched him get commissioned, after a career serving in the British Army himself.

The Duke of Gloucester attended the parade on behalf of His Majesty King Charles III and awarded the coveted Sword of Honour to the best cadet, as chosen by the intake's Commandant.

As the newly commissioned Army Officers reflected on their achievements, thoughts were also turning to the future.

Major Chris West of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers said: "For Officers commissioning today, it will be a real milestone.

"A lot of them will have wanted to come to Sandhurst for a long time, so getting to the end of the course and marching up the steps will be a really special moment."

"But in terms of the journey in the Army, this is really only the beginning.

"From now they'll have to go forward and learn the technical aspect of their trade and their phase two training and they'll now have to put in to practise those leadership lessons with the men and women in their platoons and troops."