http://www.guardian.co.uk/monarchy/story/0,2763,1349504,00.html How Sandhurst plans to make a man out of Harry Hunger, exhaustion and no music - fellow cadets reveal what lies in store John Vidal Friday November 12, 2004 The Guardian When young officer cadet Harry Windsor reports for duty at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy clutching his suitcase and two mediocre A-levels in January, he should feel at home. There will be lots of well-spoken chaps in funny uniforms, several monstrous whitewashed buildings set in regimented lawns and a lot of large rooms smelling of beeswax and boiled cabbage, as well as fish on a Friday, chapel on a Sunday, tiger skins on the wall and statues of his great-great-grandparents. But yesterday, fellow officer cadets at Europe's oldest officer training establishment warned the young prince of a terrifying baptism by colour sergeant major's bark. "The most important thing is to bring a good iron and a board, Harry," said Nicholas Tobin, a fellow ex-Etonian who will be leaving this year's officer training in a few weeks' time and heading to Iraq with Harry's granny's Dragoon Guards. "Your first days go by in a daze, you're marched around at 160 paces to the minute, you're mentally and physically exhausted, you've got the Scottish and Irish colour sergeants shouting at you all the time. They will pick you up if you have so much as a crease out of place," he said. Mr Tobin, an English graduate from Newcastle University, reckons Harry will metamorphose from being a royal to a human being and then from a civilian to an army man all within a few months. "Perhaps they used to deliberately break people in the past. It's more like indoctrination now. You're bombshelled into how the army thinks. "The Eton thing won't matter at all. The last thing anyone thinks about is where you've been to school. It's where you'll get your next meal." But other new recruits said yesterday that Harry's world will change on day one, when the army will begin systematically to strip away his personality and then rebuild it until, by the end of a year, he will think, feel and act like an army man. "In the first five weeks they don't even let you wear normal clothing. You are not allowed to listen to any music, the only radio you can turn on is Radio 4, all the rooms will be identical, you're inspected all the time and you'll learn to eat very quickly," says Stephanie Green from Stafford, scoffing a giant plate of pie and spuds after a double PT lesson and rifle cleaning. "He'll also lose weight, polish anything that is stationary and salute everything that moves," says a cadet straight off the assault course. "Some of the girls bring their cuddly toys," says Ms Green. "Some of the boys do, too," says Martin Morrissey, of Bristol. "The girls miss out on their soaps. They get distraught," says Ms Green. "This place is basically a fat camp," says Emily Stevens from South Wales. No one puts on weight here. You put your clothes on and they just fall off. I heard of one man who lost two stone in eight weeks." "You don't have to be mad to come here, but a lot of my friends don't understand it all," says Ms Stevens. "They ask, why do you want to be shouted at all day?" But Sandhurst is shouting about Harry because he will be the first senior royal in several generations to choose the army over the navy. "He will be treated just like everybody else. We are proud of our old boys like Montgomery and Churchill and of our friends and allies from abroad," says commanding officer General Andrew Ritchie. "Our mission is to develop the principles of leadership, character and intellect." It is also keen to show how the modern army officer is not at what the Russian press once described as a "landowner with several mistresses and no morals," but more and more ordinary Joes who have been to university and uphold the best British values. However, 10% of Sandhurst's annual intake of 800 is from abroad and Harry will spend his time in the company of members of at least four other royal families. If his time there runs to form, he will also meet at least one future tyrant and several young men who will go on to fleece billions of dollars from their countries. The academy famously trained Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Johnny Koroma of Sierra Leon, alleged Etonian mercenary Simon Mann, a clutch of crooked defence ministers from oil-rich states and most of the Ghanaian and Nigerian cabinets. "You never know who you'll get. Prince Abdul might turn up in his Ferrari, the Jordanians and the Saudis send their lot here, but they donated a hockey pavilion," said a cadet. Yesterday, the cadets were being put through what everybody at Sandhurst says is a terrifying fitness regime which involved platoons charging up and down hillsides with large logs, people jumping on and off walls and sergeants screaming. "Keep going. Jump, jump, jump. Don't just stand about. You can't just swing there from the waist down," bellowed one. "Yes, the course is vigorous. They learn that they cannot survive on their own. They learn to accept help. They can pass if they put their mind, body and soul into it," said Colonel Alick Findlayson, Sandhurst's chief of staff. "Actually it's all based on sleep deprivation to see how people react and work outside their comfort zones," said a panting cadet. But the key, says General Ritchie, is that Harry and everyone else "will learn values and standards and hone the instinct of doing the right thing by developing moral courage. I put most emphasis on the moral aspect. It means to carry on when others would stop. An inner essence." "It would be good to also get his elder brother," said Colonel Findlayson.