Prince Harry qualifies as Apache Commander

LONDON Fri Jul 5, 2013 5:47pm BST

1 of 2. Britain's Prince Harry poses in front of an Apache helicopter at RAF Wattisham, eastern England, in this July 3, 2013 handout photo by the Ministry of Defence released in London July 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/MoD/Crown Copyright/Handout via Reuters

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LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Harry has qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander after passing a gruelling six-hour flying assessment with "flying colours", the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

Queen Elizabeth's grandson, known in the military as Captain Wales, spent three years training for the qualification, which places him at the very top of his profession, his Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tom de la Rue said.

"This was a tremendous achievement for Captain Wales who passed with 'flying colours'," de la Rue said.

Harry, third-in-line to the British throne, returned in January from a 20-week posting in Afghanistan, his second tour of duty in the country. He was also awarded a prize for best Co-Pilot Gunner at an earlier stage of his training.

Harry's military role has enhanced his status in Britain and helped overcome his reputation as a royal wild child. His elder brother William is also a helicopter pilot, working as a search and rescue pilot for the Royal Air Force.

(Reporting By Max de Haldevang, editing by Gareth Jones)

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