Prince Harry Promoted to Army Air Corps Captain

Prince Harry
 Clarence House/PA Wire

Prince Harry has been promoted to Captain within the Army Air Corps in recognition of time service in the Armed Forces, Us Weekly can confirm.

The 26-year-old royal — now known as Captain Harry Wales in the military — was also awarded his Apache Badge from the Officer in Command of his squadron on Thursday, marking the completion of his eight-month Apache Conversion to Type course.

The rigorous program included ground school training, as well as day and night flying and complex simulator training. According to St. James' Palace, Prince Harry and his fellow students underwent 14 day-flying sorties, which tested their ability to fly in clouds and navigate complex and congested airspace.

Harry's night-flying assessment lasted approximately three months, culminating in a final assessment, during which students commanded a pair of Apache helicopters at night in order to assess their handling, captaincy, understanding of the aircraft system and response to simulated emergencies.

The final flying phase of the course involved a two-week Mountain Flying exercise in the French Alps. Next up for Harry? The Apache Conversion to Role course, where he will learn to operate the aircraft and its weapons systems. He will be based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk and will undergo a portion of the training in the U.S.

Meanwhile, a palace aide recently told Us that Harry has also been busy organizing his brother's evening wedding reception at Buckingham Palace.

PHOTOS: Will and Kate's post-engagement outings

"The DJ, the playlists, cocktail menu, food ideas. . .so much is all from Harry," the palace aide said. "Bless Harry, he's put his heart and soul in to it. There is very little being planned by a party planner for the latter half of the evening reception [which is split into two halves]. It's all about the young crowd and Harry wanted to make it fun and appropriate."

How did the busy royal — who recently hiked the Geographic North Pole — find time to plan the lavish bash?

"When in London, he's attended meetings at St. James' Palace with a number of other staff to make sure Prince William and Kate [Middleton] get exactly what they want that night," the aide noted. "This is one of his gifts to them."

For more on the Royal Wedding, including rare photos, interviews with family and friends, details on Kate's new life as a princess and a tour of their lavish homes, order a copy of Us Weekly's Will & Kate: The Royal Wedding now.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!