In December 2006, Prince William graduated from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and his girlfriend at the time Kate Middleton showed up to support him—which was a big deal, as it showed that the relationship was getting serious. Almost exactly 12 years later, William inspected the Sovereign's Parade on the Queen's behalf, which much have been quite a trip down memory lane for the royal. Per the Daily Mail, Prince William also gave out awards in full military regalia (the same outfit he wore to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding!).
William spent over seven years in the military before leaving in 2013 to focus on his royal duties and charity work. He spoke to the members of the academy and reminisced. "I remember the deep sense of pride that came from passing out of one of the finest military academies in the world, as well as wanting a short speech delivered so I could march off the parade square that little bit quicker!" he said.
He also congratulated them, saying, "The friendships forged will last a lifetime and you will have been fortunate enough to have shared experiences with people from many different backgrounds, countries, cultures and religions."
In 2006, the Queen herself inspected the troops, including her grandson, leading to a hilarious photo. It's such a sweet family moment, with the Queen's mischievous grin and William's internal monologue of "GRANDMA stop, you're embarrassing me! I'm trying to be serious!"
We also got this amazing throwback shot of Kate's hat with an enormous black bow:
Wow. That was...a look! Luckily, Kate's headgear has become decidedly more modern over the years.
The royals also just released their Christmas photos, so William's probably getting all sorts of compliments on his beautiful family as he completes one of his last royal engagements of the year.
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