Prince William flying for the last time as an air ambulance pilot
Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage(LONDON) — Prince William is giving up his wings and flying for the final time with the East Anglia Air Ambulance Wednesday evening. On his last day of work, William will cover a night shift.
The Duke of Cambridge began piloting his first operational missions in July 2015 and has been based at Cambridge Airport as part of a team of specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services in the most dire of situations.
In a statement issued by Kensington Palace earlier this year, the Duke of Cambridge said, “It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my Royal work for decades to come.”
With Prince Philip announcing his retirement earlier this year, and Queen Elizabeth no longer doing long-haul travel, William and Princess Kate will focus on royal duties full time. The decision coincides with the plans to enroll Prince George at a school full-time in London. Prince George had been attending the Westacre Montessori School near the couple’s country home, Anmer Hall.
The 4-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, will be starting school at Thomas’s Battersea School not far from the couple’s base at Kensington Palace. The coeducational school was a surprise choice, with many expecting the couple would send George to Wetherby, a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace, which both William and his brother, Prince Harry, attended before leaving for Ludgrove.
Kensington Palace said in a statement that William and Kate were looking forward to George’s next milestone: “Their Royal Highnesses are delighted to have found a school where they are confident George will have a happy and successful start to his education.”
William and Kate valued the normalcy that the second-in-line’s job as an air ambulance pilot and a RAF search and rescue pilot previously in Wales gave them. It allowed the couple to provide George and his sister, Princess Charlotte, with a life away from the spotlight, splitting their time between London and Norfolk. In the statement issued earlier this year, William expressed his thanks for the opportunity.
“I would like to thank the people of East Anglia for being so supportive of my role and for letting me get on with the job when they have seen me in the community or at our region’s hospitals,” he said.
Just last weekend, William, Kate, George and Charlotte returned from a royal tour in Germany and Poland.
It was George’s third royal tour; his first took place as a toddler in 2014 to Australia and New Zealand, and the couple brought both their children for the first time as a family to Canada last fall.
The children are slowly being introduced to their future life as young royals — earlier this month, Charlotte showed off an adorable curtsy on the red carpet, and both children politely shook the hands of dignitaries.
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