William handed drugs medal

Prince William has won his first medal in recognition of the role in played in a recent £40million Caribbean drugs bust.

The future king – who is known as Sub-Lieutenant Wales in the Royal Navy – will be presented with a Joint Services Achievement Medal by the US Coast Guard in recognition of his part in the cocaine seizure.

A source said: “William will be thrilled to get a medal. He and Harry are very competitive and they now have one each for active duty.”

A US Coast Guard spokesman said: “It was a great team effort and shows the co-operation between the Royal Navy and US Coast Guard. When missions are successful like this one, there are rewards. In recognition of all the effort made, we will present an award to all those involved.”

He said the medal would be sent to William once he is back in Britain. During the drugs bust, William was the look-out for a Lynx helicopter crew who were chasing five smugglers travelling in a speedboat with their cocaine haul off the coast of Barbados.

Once the royal had located the speedboat, British sailors and the US Coast Guard on the frigate were able to intercept the drug runners and retrieve nearly a ton of cocaine).

Commander Mark Newland said of William: “This is a young man who has three, four years of professional military experience behind him.

“He acts as I would expect a young officer of his experience and maturity to act in this type of operation. I am immensely proud of everyone’s efforts.”

William, who is spending five weeks on the Royal Navy frigate HMS Iron Duke, was also involved in planning the operation.