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Prince William prepares for final pilot shift ahead of full-time royal duty

Prince William is stepping down from his role as a helicopter pilot. Credit: PA

The Duke of Cambridge will complete his final shift as an air ambulance pilot later today so he can take up full-time royal duties.

Prince William will arrive for a night shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance and then attend hand over briefings from the day team.

He will also join his colleagues for a group photograph at the helicopter he has flown for the past two years.

William joined the charity as a pilot in March 2015 and after completing the training, including learning aircraft and in-flight skills, he began piloting his first operational missions in July 2015.

The Duke of Cambridge will work his final shift as an air ambulance pilot today. Credit: PA

Earlier this year, the Duke of Cambridge said: "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.

Prince George was given a tour of a helicopter by his father when the family were in Germany. Credit: PA

“I would like to thank the people of East Anglia for being so supportive of my role and for letting me get on with the job when they have seen me in the community or at our region's hospitals.

"I would especially like to thank all of my colleagues at EAAA, Babcock, and Cambridge Airport for their friendship and support. I have loved being part of a team of professional, talented people that save lives every day. My admiration for our country's medical and emergency services community could not be any stronger."

The Cambridges will be relocating from Norfolk to Kensington. Credit: PA

He has been based at 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.

Kensington Palace said: "Over the last two years, The Duke has enjoyed the opportunity to connect directly with the community of East Anglia and has valued being part of a team that provides such a critical and often life-saving public service."

The Duke gave an excitable Prince George a tour of a helicopter last week as the family's tour of Germany and Poland came to an end.

The young royal clambered into the cockpit of the aircraft, which is the same model the Duke flies with the air ambulance service, at the Airbus base in Hamburg.

The Cambridge family have been based in Norfolk at Anmer Hall since 2014 but from later this year their main home will be Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as William takes up full-time royal duties and George starts school.