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Sandhurst and the Hashemites

Aug 14,2017 - Last updated at Aug 14,2017

According to the list of alumni of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, 12 members of the Hashemite Family have graduated from there. These include, in addition to His Majesty King Abdullah and Their Majesties the late King Hussein and the late King Talal. Three princesses and six princes, including HRH Crown Prince Hussein are also among the alumni. 

It goes without saying that the Royal Hashemite Family has strong ties with Sandhurst. King Hussein had represented Queen Elizabeth II in the 1981 Sovereign's Parade when King Abdullah graduated, while King Abdullah himself represented the queen twice in 2006 and 2017.

In addition, a decoration is given in the name of King Hussein to the best non-British cadet who shows the most improvement.

At the Sovereign's Parade where the Crown Prince was graduating last Friday, His Majesty gave a relatively short speech, but it was vintage King Abdullah. 

The speech was peppered with funny remarks, indicating the deep sense of peership he feels towards the cadets.

That peership transformed itself into a vertical patriarchal relationship when he began to summarise the lessons he derived from his experience at Sandhurst 36 years ago.

The first lesson was “Nothing, nothing will substitute for the quality of your command”; not technology, not financial resources or any other factors.

The second lesson is, “indeed, the enduring bonds that began here can help all of you lead the global understanding that a secure and peaceful future requires”. It will be a complex world where camaraderie and personal understanding can help tackle such global complexities and help create a better world for all.

The third lesson was to remind the graduates never to give up. “You must now believe in yourself and rise to the challenges ahead.”

His Majesty was talking in the first person, disambiguating himself to communicate a noble human a political message.

His speech was one from the heart, and aimed at the hearts and minds of his listeners.

The King left Ramallah last Monday after delivering many messages to many parties. It was not mere official duty; it came after events that looked every Jordanian squarely in the face and brought with it heaps of leashed and unleashed emotions. 

Al Aqsa and the holy places in Jerusalem, as well as killing of innocent Jordanians by an Israeli guard are not questions of Royal duty; but they are actually personal, very much personal.

To link that with a task like graduating a Sandhurst class with his son makes the King walk the thin line separating the official and the personal. His Majesty walked the walk and talked the talk in his most human persona.


Both the Hashemites and Sandhurst are rooted in glorious history and achievements. It is no wonder that both naturally bond.

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