Prince William opens up about being a pilot – and his delight that his kids are back at school

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Prince William (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Prince William (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Being a search and rescue pilot isn’t an easy job and it certainly doesn’t care if you have blue blood running through your veins.

Just ask Prince William, who flew helicopters for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service between 2015 and 2017 and sometimes battled to stay on top of things.

“I couldn’t put my finger on it, but you just felt very sad,” the 38-year-old prince says. 

He was taking part in a training workshop of police, fire and ambulance services in Northern Ireland, aimed at encouraging first responders to be comfortable sharing their feelings.

The Duke of Cambridge praised participants at the workshop. “You care for us in our time of need, so too must we ensure that we are there for you when you need it the most.

You might like| Prince William faces backlash for taking George on hunting trip

“I know first-hand that even in routine circumstances, those of you on the frontline can face immense challenges that can naturally have a significant impact on both your physical and mental health.

“We’ve got to somehow change that culture [and get to a place] where we feel it’s okay to say, ‘Listen, this was horrendous, I really didn’t enjoy seeing that, it was really brutal’. How do we talk about it?”

William was also seen petting a five-month-old Irish setter puppy called Tara, who is training as an assist dog for sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The prince also opened up about how he felt about his kids returning to school after being at home for months during lockdown.

“I think every parent is breathing a sigh of relief that school has started again. Five months – it’s been wonderful, but it’s been a long five months.”

Prince George (7) and Princess Charlotte (5) were all home-schooled by their mom, the Duchess of Cambridge, at Anmer Hall in Norfolk – and Kate revealed they didn’t even take an Easter break.

“Don't tell the children, we actually kept it going through the holidays. I feel very mean,” she told BBC Breakfast.

 (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis clap for NHS carers (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

The family did enjoy a summer break, though, with a week-long trip to the Isles of Scilly in July.

The UK’s school year started at the beginning of the month and George and Charlotte have returned to Thomas’s Battersea in London.

Prince Louis (2) still has a way to go but it’s expected he’ll attend Willcocks Nursery School where his siblings went and which is just a stone's throw away from Kensington Palace, the family’s London home. 


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24