Prince William was among 25 flying school graduates awarded their Royal Air Force wings by the Prince of Wales on Friday.
The 25-year-old royal learned to pilot a plane during a four-month attachment with the RAF and described flying solo as "an amazing feeling."
"Going solo is one of those things — if you had a list of the top 50 things to do before you die, it would be in there," he said.
William — an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment — has been following a bespoke shortened course that has included time flying fast propeller planes and helicopters.
It was designed to make him a competent but not operational flier, as an RAF pilot normally would spend up to four years under instruction.
The course also taught the Prince about the RAF's ethos, traditions and military role as he prepares to one day head the armed forces.
William was presented with the insignia by his father, Prince Charles, in a ceremony at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
Kate Middleton was at RAF Cranwell to witness the Prince's proud moment, as was Diana's sister, lady Sarah McCorquodale.
Following the ceremony, the royal couple and William viewed a display of aircraft including a Chipmunk T10 trainer plane Charles learnt to fly as a young man.
Prince Charles completed his flying training course at RAF Cranwell in August 1971 and graduated that year as a flight lieutenant.
The prince's grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, also earned RAF wings and was awarded them in May 1953 during a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.