Prince William is a “natural leader”, according to Commander Mark Newland, the captain of the Royal Navy ship William is currently working on.

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The 26-year-old royal – who is spending five weeks aboard the Royal Navy frigate HMS Iron Duke – has taken to the job with no difficulties.

Commander Newland said: “He understands instinctively the business of command. Being sent away with a small group to lead and conduct a particular task – that, to him, is second nature.”

Last week, the future king was involved in a £40 million drugs bust with his crew.

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.”

The prince won his first medal in recognition of the role he played in the drugs bust.