Prince William graduated from St. Andrews University today, watched by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and his father, Prince Charles, and his step-mother, the Duchess of Cornwall.
William was one of 260 students to graduate in the four-and-a-half hour morning ceremony.
Wearing a hood with cherry-red lining to indicate he is a Master of the Arts, the 23-year-old prince knelt before university chancellor Sir Kenneth Dover who tapped him on the head with a scarlet cloth cap. According to St. Andrews tradition, the cap is sewn from a fragment of breeches worn by Scottish religious reformer John Knox, who preached in the medieval university town in the 16th century, reports AP.
During the ceremony, students filed one-by-one on to the stage when their names were called. The prince was greeted by a burst of flash photography, loud applause and even one slight cheer - but not from the royal party, who simply smiled and clapped, notices The Guardian. Media is eager to stress that William earned a 2:1 geography masters degree (an upper second class degree, a very respectable achievement, as notices AP, saying it’s better than Prince Charles' 2:2 from Cambridge).
The prince's Clarence House office announced Thursday that after a summer break William would undertake three work-experience placements, joining a mountain-rescue team, working at an international financial institution in London and learning about land management on a country estate.
Afterward, William has said he plans to sign up for military training at Sandhurst, the prestigious military academy south of London where his younger brother, Harry, began his studies last month. Speaking before the ceremony, William said he was sad to be leaving university.
As Prince William admits, he has been “able to lead as normal a student life” as he could have hoped for, and he is “grateful to everyone, particularly the locals, who have helped make this happen,” reports The Guardian.
As the media and hundreds of graduates’ relatives descended on the Fife town, security was tight as the Queen, the first and the second-in-line to the throne gathered for their family day out, reports The Evening Telegraph.
It had been feared the Queen would miss the occasion after falling ill with a heavy cold which affected her voice.
However, the 79-year-old Queen resumed her public engagements yesterday after cancelling three appearances this week.
Prince William gave special thanks to his grandmother today for making the effort to turn up at his graduation ceremony at St Andrews despite having been "under the weather", says The Times.
Later today, William is supposed to visit the Fife Constabulary to thank local policemen personally for their "constant support" during his university career.