Flight Lieutenant Wales in charge
Prince William is now qualified to fly Sea King helicopters for search and rescue missions by the Royal Air Force, the British Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.
He was previously authorised only to co-pilot search and rescue missions for 22 Squadron, based in Anglesey in north Wales.
The new qualification does not alter the rank of the prince - who turns 30 in a fortnight.
"Flight Lieutenant Wales demonstrated the required standards needed for the award of operation captaincy," said Mark Dunlop, the commander of 22 Squadron. "Operational captaincy carries the overarching responsibility for the safety of the aircraft, its crew and any casualties . required standards are always set at a very high level."
William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge - formerly known as Kate Middleton - were on show last weekend at celebrations of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee.
Now he has another reason to celebrate after two years of training leading up to the military tests he passed at the end of last month.