Prince William gets his wings and takes on his dad’s work
LONDON: Britain’s Prince William completed a key stage in his pilot training yesterday, cementing his military career just days before embarking on his first official overseas royal tour to New Zealand.
Queen Elizabeth’s grandson was presented with his flying badge by his father Prince Charles after graduating from an advanced helicopter training course with the Royal Air Force (RAF).
The 27-year-old spent a year training at RAF Shawbury in central England and will later this month move to RAF Valley in Wales, where he will be taught to fly Sea King helicopters.
Britain’s royals have long engaged in military service in recognition of the monarch’s role as head of the ar med forces and, despite maintaining his duties as prince, officials say William is committed to his career as a pilot.
The decision to send William to New Zealand for the opening of the new Supreme Court in Wellington rather than his father has caused press speculation that he is supplanting him in the line of succession.
But palace officials deny this.
“His priority is being a serving officer in the RAF but where appropriate, he will carry out engagements, and this is one such engagement,” a spokeswoman said.
On Tuesday, William will travel to Australia for a more informal three-day trip involving visits to an Aboriginal community centre and an Australian army base, as well as a trip to rural areas devastated by bushfires last year. – SapaAFP