Prince William has to buy his crewmates a crate of beer after failing a task on his first day of naval training yesterday (03.06.08).

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William – who is known as Sub-Lieutenant Wales while in the navy – was asked to slip anchor on the training ship HMS Hindostan using a 14lb mallet, but when he hit the ring which holds the anchor in place it did not move.

He managed to dislodge the ring on his second attempt, but not before he was reminded he owed the rest of the crew a drink.

His instructor, Petty Officer Wayne ‘Rats’ Rattenbury, explained: “It’s a tradition in the Navy for anyone who misses slipping the anchor first time to buy those on the ship a crate.

“It was tough for Sub-Lieutenant Wales that he went first – not to mention in front of an audience – but he should be comforted by the fact that one lad once took 16 goes before he got it right.”

William was at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, where he is completing three months of naval training.

Earlier in the day, William navigated an 11-ton motor boat through a series of manoeuvres and was praised for his efforts.

Director of training Commander Paul Halton said: “It normally takes cadets several weeks to pick it up and he has mastered it in a day. I was very impressed.”