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Prince William to start Royal Navy attachment

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  • Britain's Prince William begins two-month attachment with Royal Navy on Monday
  • William has completed attachment with the Royal Air Force
  • The future king is a second lieutenant in the British Army
  • Experience will prepare him for when he becomes head of armed forces as king
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Britain's Prince William is starting a two-month attachment with the Royal Navy on Monday, part of the future king's continued experience with various branches of the military, the Ministry of Defense said Saturday.

Prince William and his father, Prince Charles, at his graduation from the Royal Air Force in April.

William, 25, will spend the first part of his attachment on a basic sea safety course training in sea survival, firefighting and ship damage repair, according to the ministry.

If William passes the course, as expected, he will join the HMS Iron Duke in the Caribbean, the department said.

The ship's function is to support overseas British territories in the event of a hurricane and to carry out counter-narcotic operations.

The prince, who will be called Sub Lieutenant Wales in the Navy, is expected to spend time aboard a frigate, a mine hunter, a submarine and helicopters during his attachment, which ends August 1, the Ministry of Defense said.

William completed a four-month attachment with the Royal Air Force this year and received his pilot's wings upon graduating in April.

He learned to fly three different aircraft during the attachment and is known as Flying Officer Wales within the RAF.

William is also a second lieutenant in the British Army, where he serves in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry.

The attachments are designed to provide the prince with military experience for when he becomes head of the armed forces as king.

"When he becomes king, he needs to know his armed forces -- instinctively be very familiar with them -- and so he is doing this visit to the Royal Navy," said Rear Adm. Bob Cooling, the assistant chief of naval staff.

William's father, Prince Charles, had a five-year career in the navy in the 1970s. Charles served on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates before qualifying as a helicopter pilot and joining a naval air squadron that operated from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

Prince Charles spent his last nine months in the navy in 1976 in command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington.


William's uncle Prince Andrew served 22 years in the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot, seeing active service during the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982.

Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, William's grandfather, spent more than 13 years in the Royal Navy. He saw active service throughout World War II and was in Tokyo Harbor when Japan surrendered.

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