(CBS/AP) ANGLESEY, Wales - To most of the world, Prince William is the future King of England whose wedding to Kate Middleton is quickly approaching. But on Sunday, he was just a Royal Air Force pilot who couldn't get a table at the restaurant he wanted.
William and a group of his friends were turned away from the Seacroft restaurant in Wales on Sunday night because the establishment didn't have room to seat about 20 additional guests.
"The plan was to eat there, but unfortunately they had one of their chefs off sick so they weren't able to cope with the number that we had brought, " the operational commander of William's unit, Squadron Leader Iain "Spike" Wright, said Thursday. "And so we found another location and we moved on."
A local businessman, Jonathan Campbell, 39, said the restaurant phoned the nearby Treaddur Bay hotel to see whether it could take the party.
"They thought it was a joke that it was Prince William and his buddies and they had to ring three or four times and say 'no, this is real,"' he said.
While residents weren't surprised, Marianne Swanner, an engineer visiting from Orlando, Fla., was shocked.
"In the States, if (President Barack) Obama wants to go there, they'd have let him," she said. "They would have cleared it out and let him in."
The restaurants are near the Royal Air Force base where William serves as a helicopter search-and-rescue pilot.
"Every day you come into work, and you don't quite know what's going to happen," the prince said recently of his job. "It's quite exciting in that sense. It's unpredictable. But at the same time, it's great that you get to go out and actually save someone's life, hopefully, or at least make a difference to someone. When you know that they're in trouble, you do everything to get there. And the guys, demonstrate that every single time that they go out. And with the team environment there is in the cockpit, it's very much sort of a big family in the sky."
He added, "I'm incredibly proud to be among the search-and-rescue guys and very privileged to be flying with some of the best pilots, I think, in the world."