Today marks Prince William’s last shift as an air ambulance pilot, and he has released a statement about his time with the charity, in which he mentions his ‘profound respect’ for the emergency services.
The Duke of Cambridge will work the night shift at the Cambridge air base, ending his two-year stint at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, after he left the RAF.
William and Kate will move their family back to London next month, for Prince George to start primary school at St Thomas’s in September.
Kensington Palace released this statement on Twitter earlier today, though a lengthier one was published in the local paper, Eastern Daily Press:
“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.
“I have met people from across the region who were in the most desperate of circumstances. As part of the team, I have been invited into people’s homes to share moments of extreme emotion, from relief that we have given someone a fighting chance, to profound grief.”
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 27, 2017
Speaking of the “incredibly skilled doctors and paramedics” he has worked with, the Duke said: “These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services, which I hope to continue to champion even as I leave the profession.
“I am hugely grateful for having had this experience.”
The Duke of Cambridge earned in the region of £40,000 for his work as a pilot, which he donated back to the charity, EAAA.
Patrick Peal, EAAA’s chief executive, said of the Royal’s departure: “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.”