Prince William awarded Royal Air Force wings

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Prince William, watched by his admiring girlfriend Kate Middleton, received his Royal Air Force wings from his father Prince Charles on Friday.

William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, learned to fly on his four-month attachment. He fulfilled a childhood ambition by flying solo for the first time.

Air Chief Marshal Glenn Torpy told the graduates: “This is probably one of the most significant milestones in an aviator’s career. It’s something that not many people can do and you should be very proud of what you have done.”

Middleton, smiling and looking relaxed for photographers and camera crews, accompanied William to a reception and celebration lunch given for the fliers afterwards.

The second in line to the throne, who was known as Flying Officer William Wales, starts an attachment to the Royal Navy in June.

William, the future head of the Armed Forces, spent a year with the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals before his stint with the Royal Air Force.

He called his RAF colleagues “a bunch of really good guys, they loved their flying, they were all really dedicated guys.”

Reporting by Paul Majendie, Editing by Paul Casciato