Prince William will not take on more royal duties after all, instead he is committing to becoming a helicopter pilot. Moreover, in what has become commonplace, Wills will donate the entirety of his salary to charity.
“After completing a mandatory period of training this autumn and winter, The Duke will start work with the Air Ambulance, based at Cambridge and Norwich Airports and flying both day and night shifts, in spring 2015. The Duke will start as a co-pilot but, after a period of training, will be qualified to fly as a helicopter commander.”
“This job will be the Duke’s primary occupation, but his roster will take into account the duties and responsibilities he will continue to undertake on behalf of The Queen, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. The Duke will also continue his work with his patronages and with the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.”
According to the press release, Prince William is believed to be the first Member of the Royal Family in direct succession to the throne to sign an employment contract with a civilian employer (Bond Air Services). William will start as a co-pilot, however, after additional training he will be qualified to become a commander.
Prince William began training to become a military pilot in January 2009 and was based at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Valley between January of 2010 and September of 2013, where he was known as Flight Lieutenant Wales. The Duke was a fully operational Search and Rescue pilot on the Sea King helicopter. He qualified as a helicopter Captain in June 2012.
When Prince William ended his time at the RAF Valley, it marked more than seven-and-a-half years of full-time military service to his country. During that time the future king of England undertook more than 150 search and rescue operations and completed over 1,300 flying hours.
Kensington Palace’s statement indicates Prince William’s helicopter training will begin in September 2015 and last for a minimum of five months. Additionally, William must pass 14-exams and other flight tests. He will continue to undertake royal duties, as second in line to the throne and representative of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The head of the EAAA, Alastair Wilson commented that Prince William is a good fit for the role of helicopter pilot and discussed more of what the Duke can expect to see at his post:
“Compared to his role as a search and rescue pilot, he may be dealing with more injury patients than he is used to, but I’m sure he will adapt very well to that.”
It is unclear whether Prince William’s wife, Kate, and son, George, will accompany him while he attends training to become a helicopter pilot.
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