London (CNN) -- Britain's Prince Harry has been promoted to captain in the British army, St. James' Palace announced Sunday.
The 26-year-old prince, who is third in line to the throne, is now known as Capt. Harry Wales within the military.
Harry, who graduated from Britain's prestigious Sandhurst military academy in 2006, was also awarded an Apache Badge on Thursday after completing an eight-month course to fly the helicopter without an instructor, the palace said.
The course involved ground school training, day and night flying, and complex simulator training, the palace said. Harry also had to fly 14 sorties testing his ability to navigate in clouds and through complex and congested airspace.
The course also included a three-month night-flying phase and a two-week mountain flying exercise in the French Alps.
Harry now moves on to an eight-month weapons-handling course so he can become a fully operational Army pilot, the palace said. He will be based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk, England, and is expected to have a portion of his training in the United States.
Harry's elder brother Prince William serves in the Royal Air Force as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot off the coast of Wales.