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Duke of Cambridge to become East Anglian Air Ambulance pilot

Prince William will donate his salary in full to the charity Photo: PA Images

The Duke of Cambridge is set to join the East Anglian Air Ambulance which is based at Cambridge Airport.

Prince William will begin a civilian pilot course next month followed by dedicated 999-response training.

If successful he will join the rescue team in a full time role next spring.

The role will be his main job but his roster will take into account the duties and responsibilities he will continue to undertake on behalf of the Queen.

He will be paid a salary which he will donate in full to the charity.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said the Duke is "very much looking forward to" the next step in his career.

East Anglian Air Ambulance Credit: PA Images

This is really good news for the charity and we're delighted His Highness has decided to fly with us.

We are confident this will help raise the profile of the charity and other air ambulance charities in the region and across the UK.

We're very fortunate that we currently enjoy tremendous levels of support but fundraising is always a challenge - we're looking to raise £7.5 million a year to continue the lifesaving work - and I'm sure that this will help to raise the profile of the charity.

We're looking forward to him being part of the team. It is a very close-knit crew with the pilot operating closely with the doctor and paramedic so we need a strong team in every operation we go on.

– Patrick Peal, chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance

Click below to watch a clip of Patrick Peal:

The Duke will fly missions in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

As new parents, William and Kate are expected to split their time between their new home at Anmer Hall near Sandringham in Norfolk and their apartment at Kensington Palace.

Anmer Hall near Sandringham Credit: PA Images

Magpas Helimedix congratulate Prince William on his new position with our sister Air Ambulance charity in the region.

We very much welcome the Duke of Cambridge to the county and to the East of England, as he begins working alongside our specialist Doctors and Paramedics.

We also hugely appreciate his support for all the Air Ambulance charities in the Eastern Counties and indeed in the rest of the country.

– Daryl Brown, CEO of Magpas Helimedix
Magpas Helimedix helicopter Credit: Rob Holding

Before beginning the new job, William will be required to gain an air transport pilot licence to complement his military training and undergo training specific to his new role.

In order to gain this licence, he must complete five months of training followed by 14 exams and a flight test.

Initially he will be employed as a co-pilot but, after a period of training, William will be qualified as a helicopter commander.

Two doctors making their way to the air ambulance Credit: PA Images

The job will build on the Duke's operational experience in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue force.

During this time he undertook more than 150 search and rescue operations

– Palace spokesman

The news strengthens William's ties with Cambridge after he completed a 10-week agricultural course at the University of Cambridge earlier this year.