Today is The Duke of Cambridge’s very first shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service (EAAAS), after he completed his training in April.
He had a few words to say about how he felt beginning in the new role, as well as some details about his family life.
“It’s my first day and I’m feeling the nerves,” William said.
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“We’re starting off on a wet Cambridge day, but I’m really looking forward to getting started. It’s been a lot of effort and patience in training but we’re here now and I’m looking forward to doing the job.”
William called it a ‘natural progression’ from his three years spent in Anglesey, working at RAF Valley as a Search and Rescue pilot.
The Duke and Duchess lived in Anglesey following their marriage for over two years, and enjoyed the peaceful, rural lifestyle the island afforded them; they moved to London a few months after the birth of Prince George in July 2013, and William hung up his RAF wings in September 2013.
William is now part of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, and now has his Airline Transport Pilot Licence (H); to gain this qualification, the Prince had to site 14 written exams on a range of aviation topics. These included the Principles of Flight, Navigation, Flight Planning and Air Law, and an Airborne Skills Test. Instead of a khaki-green uniform, for flying, William now wears a smart navy ensemble.
The job will see him fly across the skies of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, assisting people in medical difficulty, alongside paramedics and doctors. This will be the father-of-two’s full-time and primary role, but his roster will take into account his Royal duties and responsibilities.
William Wales, as the Prince is known in the job, is donating all of his salary to charity, thought to be in the region of £40,000, and has said the role ‘really helps’ with grounding him as a Royal.
“Doing a job like this is worthwhile, valuable and there’s an element of duty about it,” William said, and he was deployed on his first mission not long after beginning his first shift, says EAAAS, which began at 7am.
In an interview, which you can watch below, William then went on to talk of family life, after the christening of Princess Charlotte just over a week ago, and the official family photographs on Wednesday.
Prince William, 33, called his daughter a ‘little joy of heaven’ and Prince George a ‘little monkey’, showing two seemingly different personalities in his children.
“Catherine has been doing an amazing job as a mother and I’m very proud of her,” William gushed. Such personal feelings are rarely revealed by members of the Royal Family, so this is a lovely look into their private life that the Prince was willing to share.
Asked if it was hard to leave his young family each morning, the Prince recognised this was a daily reality for many people, and said; “No more difficult than anyone else has to leave [their family]”.
Photo: Mario Testino/Kensington Palace, Defence Images