Princes Charles and Harry led tributes to the Gurkhas as they were honoured at Buckingham Palace for their efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.
Around 150 Gurkhas, part of a 300-strong battalion deployed to Kabul last to help Afghanistan take control of its own affairs, were recognised during the ceremony.
On Tuesday, the Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, met dozens of the soldiers and exchanged stories to mark the occasion.
Prince Harry was also present to help award medals and meet and greet the recipients.
Charles' links to the Royal Gurkha Rifles date back to 1977 when he became Colonel-in-Chief of the 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles.
He said the fact that some of those in the room were likely descendants of those soldiers four decades earlier indicated the Gurkhas' "worldwide sense of family".
Charles said: "Your forefathers would be most proud of you here today, continuing to demonstrate the traditions and achievements that together ensure the worldwide reputation of the Gurkhas as the best soldiers."
Prince Harry served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles during his tour of Afghanistan in 2007-08.
The young royal told the ceremony "when you know you're with the Gurkhas, there's no safer place to be".
Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Murray, 41, the commanding officer who officiated at the medal presentation ceremony, said: "For the young Gurkha to be in Buckingham Palace in front of His Royal Highness is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
"Today will live long in the memory for these soldiers and their families, their stories from this wonderful experience will reach the hills of Nepal and reaffirm the position of the Royal Family in the hearts of the people from that part of the world."