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Prince William Pulls Rank, Named Captain of Royal Air Force

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images
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O captain, our captain.

The celebrations are continuing apace for the merry Windsors this week, as fresh from the comedown off Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee festivities, another member of the royal family is being feted—this time Prince William.

It was announced today that Kate Middleton's other half has completed his lengthy Royal Air Force Search and Rescue helicopter pilot training and is now a qualified captain.

But here's hoping he's not too attached to that particular ranking...

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Because it's not really his.

Despite his new command chops, the Duke of Cambridge is an operational captain only and will therefore still be referred to by his previous rank, Flight Lieutenant Wales.

In any case, Wills completed his two-day captaincy tests on May 29, though Buckingham Palace likely waited until today to announce the outcome so as to ensure the news wasn't overshadowed by his grandma's national party. His graduation, as it were, comes after two years of training (including this year's six-week deployment to the Falklands) with C Flight, 22 Squadron, with whom he's been stationed in Anglesey, Wales, since September 2010.

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And yes, he passed with, well, flying colors.

"Flt. Lt. Wales demonstrated the required standards needed for the award of Operation Captaincy," the prince's commanding officer, Wing Commander Mark Dunlop, said. "Due to the nature of search and rescue operations, the required standards are always set at a very high level. Operational Captaincy carries the overarching responsibility for the safety of the aircraft, its crew and any casualties."

Responsible for the safety of an entire military craft? Running a kingdom ought to be a piece of cake after that.

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