Tapped on the head with a scarlet cloth cap, Britain's Prince William became a university graduate Thursday — and lost the protection from the media he has enjoyed during his student years.
From now on, the second in line to the throne can expect intense scrutiny of his behavior, his career plans and his relationship with fellow St. Andrews graduate Kate Middleton.
"I'm going out into the big wide world — not just essays now," William said.
The 23-year-old prince — or, as he was listed in the graduation program, William Wales — was among 260 students graduating in a tradition-steeped ceremony at St. Andrews University.
The prince's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II — wearing a lemon suit with matching feathered hat — and his father, Prince Charles, watched the ceremony from a balcony of the university's Younger Hall. They were joined by the queen's husband, Prince Philip, and Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Wearing a black gown and a hood with cherry-red lining designating a Master of the Arts, William knelt as university chancellor Sir Kenneth Dover tapped him on the head with a scarlet cloth cap. According to St. Andrews tradition, the cap contains a scrap of breeches worn by religious reformer John Knox, who preached in the medieval university town in the 16th century.
After the chancellor declared "Et super te" — "and upon you" — an official hooked the silk-lined hood over the new graduate's head.
Charles and the duchess clapped respectfully and Prince Philip perused the graduation program as William walked back to his seat to loud applause.
William graduated minutes after Kate Middleton, his former student housemate and current girlfriend.
Their relationship will come under intensified scrutiny now.
The prince and Middleton have been dating since 2003, according to press reports. Palace officials have refused to discuss the relationship.
Years ago, Prince Charles' office struck an agreement for the media to allow the princes, William and Harry, to complete their education without attention from the media, in exchange for intermittent formal, pooled interviews.
The media largely adhered to the agreement during Williams' four years at university, and locals in St. Andrews — a wind-swept town of 18,000 on Scotland's east coast — grew accustomed to having a royal around town.
Occasional paparazzi photos of the prince and dark-haired Middleton together in St. Andrews or skiing in the Swiss resort of Klosters drew the ire of the palace.
Now, however, William is stepping into the limelight as an adult member of the royal family. Next week, he begins his first solo engagement, flying to New Zealand to join a tour by the British and Irish Lions rugby team as a representative of the queen.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at St. Andrews, and I shall be very sad to leave," William said Wednesday.
"I have been able to lead as normal a student life as I could have hoped for, and I'm very grateful to everyone, particularly the locals, who have helped make this happen."
The prince's Clarence House office announced Thursday that William would undertake three work-experience placements after his New Zealand tour, 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.
William earned a 2:1 geography masters degree in four years of study at St. Andrews. A 2:1 denotes an upper second class degree, a very respectable achievement — and better than his father's 2:2 from Cambridge. A Scottish Master of the Arts degree is the equivalent of an undergraduate English Bachelor of Arts degree.
scrutiny: a close, careful examination or study（详细审查）
ire : anger; wrath（忿怒）