Prince William to begin final East of England Air Ambulance shift before full-time Royal duty

Prince William set for his last shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Ben Bull Photography. ANL-150715-152641001
Prince William set for his last shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Ben Bull Photography. ANL-150715-152641001

The Duke of Cambridge will begin his last shift as an East of England Air Ambulance pilot later before moving on to life as a full-time member of the royal family.

William announced in January he would be ending his career with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), and has clocked-up more than two years flying medical crews to emergencies from a base at Cambridge Airport.

A statement issued at the time by Kensington Palace said William and Kate wanted, as they had in previous years, to increase their official duties on behalf of the Queen and their charity work, which would mean more time in London.

Since then the Duke of Edinburgh has announced he will step down from his public duties this summer, which is likely to see all members of the monarchy carrying out more engagements in support of the Queen.

Patrick Peal, EAAA’s chief executive, said: “William has been an integral part of the team for the past two years. He is not only a fantastic pilot, but a much loved and valued member of the crew; he will be truly missed by everyone at EAAA.

“As one would expect, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding William and his work with the charity. To us, he has simply been another hard-working member of the team; one of eleven highly respected pilots who help us to save hundreds of lives each year.”

The Cambridges are expected to spend more time at their London apartment at Kensington Palace, rather than their Norfolk property Anmer Hall, as their four-year-old son Prince George will begin school in the capital in September.

The Duke said in the statement in January: “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.”

On his final day at work William will arrive for a night shift, and attend the handover briefings from the day team as usual.

He will then join his team-mates at the helicopter he has flown for the past two years for a group photograph.

The Duke joined EAAA as a pilot in March 2015 and after completing an initial period of job specific training involving simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills training, he began piloting his first operational missions in July 2015.

Throughout his service William has been based out of Cambridge Airport, as part of a team including specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.