By Katie Nicholl
He had just landed in California, ready to undertake the final stage of his Apache helicopter training.
So when Prince Harry decided he fancied a beer and a burger before getting down to business, he and three friends drove to the nearest watering hole... a mere 120 miles away.
The 27-year-old Royal and his colleagues from RAF Wattisham arrived at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro on Thursday.
Service with a smile: Waitress Leah Bentley (left) served Harry and his friends
The next day, the four friends – plus Harry's Royal protection officers – headed off to the famed McP's Irish Pub on the island of Coronado, near San Diego.
The Prince relaxed and chatted happily to locals, even taking a photograph for a couple due to marry yesterday.
Harry, who had asked to be seated at an outside table, was served by 32-year-old waitress Leah Bentley, from San Diego.
She said: 'Harry and his friends were really nice. It took me a minute before I realised who he was. I bantered with him and tried to treat him like any other customer. He and his friends were very good-looking and were nice tippers.
'He didn't flirt with me – but I wouldn't have minded if he had.'
The Prince and his friends enjoyed an hour-long meal and when fellow diners recognised him, some asked for a photo.
Royal approval: Prince Harry took a photo of Victor Swircz, who later tweeted about their encounter
Harry obliged and also got behind the camera to take a snap of Victor Swircz and his fiancee Laurie on the eve of their wedding.
Victor later tweeted: 'Seriously I'm not joking. I just met Prince Harry and shook his hand @ McP's in Coronado!!' McP's is the only Irish pub on the island of Coronado, which is the home of the US Navy SEALs.
Arrival: Prince Harry lands at U.S. airbase at El Centro, he will be training for two months - and be treated like any of the other students
Veteran: Prince Harry has served in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan
The bar is owned by a former SEAL and so was an ideal venue for Harry, who was enjoying time out before he starts his two-month training programme, known as Exercise Crimson Eagle.
His time will be split between El Centro, close to the border of Mexico, and Gila Bend in Arizona – and he will then become a fully qualified Apache pilot.
A spokesman for the Prince said yesterday: 'Harry has a bit of down-time on the course, which he will spend privately with his course mates.'