London, June 4 : The first thing which Prince William will have to do as a part of naval lieutenant's duties is to buy a crate of beer for colleagues after messing up the traditional task of slipping a ship's anchor. Sub-Lieutenant Wales as he is known to his naval colleagues is undergoing three weeks of intensive training at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, where his father, the Prince of Wales, and his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, also learnt the ropes as young officers.
After a demonstration of how to release the anchor of Hindostan, a former minesweeper, the Prince swung a sledgehammer and failed to dislodge it.
He succeeded with his next blow but will be expected to pay the traditional forfeit of a case of beer.
"He looked very much at his ease, concentrating on the task but laughing when he didn't get it right first time," the Telegraph quoted an onlooker, as saying.
"He did look a bit nervous the second time but he managed it. It is tradition though and he owes everyone a beer," the onlooker added.
After his slip-up with the sledgehammer Prince William redeemed himself with a faultless exercise behind the controls of a 40-foot craft on the river.
Commander Paul Halton, director of training at the college, praised his new officer's efforts on the water.
He said: "The vessel he was driving today mimics in many respects how a frigate or a destroyer will handle, so that's been a really important skill for him to learn. Some of the manoeuvres he did today would ordinarily take a young officer a number of weeks or months of training [to master] and he's got the hang of it in just a day - so pretty good."