Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Ahoy! Prince William's first day in the navy

Prince William has happily showed off his naval skills during a carefully orchestrated photo-opportunity on board a converted mine-hunter moored on the River Dart. The Prince, who was spending his 2nd day in the navy posing for the press, slipped up when he had to swing a hammer to release a cable which in turn released the anchor. He missed on the first attempt and after some laughing, managed to release it with another blow. Naval tradition dictates that anyone who misses on their first hit must buy a crate of beer and to his credit, Wills agreed. An onlooker said: “He looked very much at his ease, concentrating on the task but laughing when he didn’t get it right first time. He did look a bit nervous the second time but he managed it. It is tradition though and he owes everyone a beer.”

Once William does go to sea he'll be sleeping in a two-berth cabin and will be waking up at 6.30am to have breakfast at 7.15am. Cdr Paul Halton, the director of training at the college said: “The vessel he was driving mimics in many respects how a frigate or a destroyer will handle, so that’s been a really important skill for him to learn. Some of the manoeuvres he did today would ordinarily take a young officer a number of weeks or months of training [to master] and he’s got the hang of it in just a day — so pretty good."

Meanwhile the emphasis seems to be on William being treated as one of the boys with Rear-Adml Cooling saying: “There may be a few stares when he queues up for the ship’s shop but after that he will be treated like any other junior officer. He will need to pull his weight in an emergency. He will walk down the passageway to the ‘head’, which is what we call the toilet facilities, just like everyone else. There will be no en-suite toilet facilities.”

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