POMP and pageantry in true British style filled the grounds of Sandhurst's Royal Military Academy when hundreds of cadets celebrated their passing out parade.

Dressed in their immaculate finery, 718 officer cadets proudly marched before their parents at the 139th Sovereign's Parade last Friday.

The academy's huge grounds provided the perfect backdrop to the colourful show of military precision, where 221 cadets received their commissions into the British Army.

Among the distinguished guests attending the parade were their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg.

Congratulating the cadets on their hard work was the Queen's representative, General Sir Sam Cowan KCB CBE ADC Gen, chief of defence logistics.

In his speech he told his audience: "The British Army enjoys an unrivalled reputation for professional excellence and achievement. This has been hard earned, not just by unstinting effort, but by lives lost.

"From this day on, in a very special sense as an officer, this reputation now rests in your hands.

"Any one of you can damage it in a moment of weakness or carelessness.

"So be on your guard. Nothing but your very best is going to be good enough."

Among the many receiving awards was Junior Under Officer Edward Cartwright, 23, of Wandsworth in London. He received the Sword of Honour for being considered the best on the course and will go on to serve with the Parachute Regiment.

The Queen's Medal was awarded to Junior Officer Lucas Cohen, 23, of Witham in Essex. He achieved the highest score in military, practical and academic studies and will go on to serve with the Royal Engineers.

The Overseas Sword was presented to Officer Cadet Ahmad Omar, 23, from Pakistan — he will join the 8th Cavalry Regiment when he returns to Pakistan.