Prince William ‘could try to return to Air Ambulance’ as pandemic concerns rise | Royal | News (Reports)


The Duke of Cambridge worked as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance for two years before his family moved to London so he could focus on his duties as a senior royal. This period clearly had a profound impact on the second-in-line to the throne, as he has since admitted that it was “very traumatic” work and attending to children’s call-outs took him “over the edge”. But, William has recently expressed his concerns about the NHS during this health crisis, and told frontline workers how he “really worries” about their mental health.

He added: “You’re seeing such high levels of sadness, trauma, death that it impacts your own life and your own family life because it is always there.”

Speaking from his own experience, the Duke of Cambridge claimed that witnessing so much death “does impact how you see the world” and makes the world seem a “slightly depressed, darker, blacker place”.

William’s work helping the NHS has not gone unnoticed, and he has been encouraged to help with the services in London.

The London Ambulance Service boss, Garrett Emmerson, said: “As [William] knows well, we have an air ambulance service here in London.

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“I know he would be welcome there any time.”

William also became the patron of the London Air Ambulance last March.

Indeed, a source told at the time: “William has been seriously considering returning as an air ambulance pilot to help in the current pandemic.

“He knows the whole country is doing its bit and he wants to help.

“But it’s complicated as he was originally grounded from the job so that he could become a senior working royal.”

The insider continued: “That role is even more important now given that Charles has been ill, Harry has walked away with Meghan and Andrew has been effectively barred from public life.

“But William is very keen to do anything he can to help.”

Although this source made these claims last March, the NHS is said to be a “breaking point”, according to the health service’s chief executive Sir Simon Stevens.

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The UK is in lockdown again and this second wave of infection has seen far more Covid-19 cases than during the first wave, last Spring, which may push William to consider returning to the Air Ambulance.

Frontline worker Tracy Pidgeon, who had a virtual call with the royal, also claimed that William had told her “he misses the helicopter, being on the front line”.

The royal once described working with the Air Ambulance as a “privilege”.

William also worked as a former search and rescue helicopter pilot and served with the RAF in Wales for three years — he took part in 156 search and rescue operations during that time.

He and Kate have been at the forefront of the Royal Family’s response to the pandemic, going on a Royal Train tour in December to thank frontline workers and emphasising the importance on mental health during this trying time.

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William has also volunteered with SHOUT 85258, the 24-hour-a-day text support service set up by the Royal Foundation.

The Duchess of Cambridge, William’s wife, thanked those who had joined the scheme and called them the “backbone of our country”.

William himself received a positive diagnosis for coronavirus back in April, but decided to keep it away from the public.

Reports claimed that the second-in-line to the throne did not tell anyone about it because he believed there “were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone”.

He fell ill shortly after both his father Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracted the virus.

As the Prince of Wales is over 70, his diagnosis left the public especially worried, but he later said he only experienced mild symptoms.

Mr Johnson, on the other hand, was briefly hospitalised.

William isolated at his family home in Norfolk but stayed away from Kate and their three children.

He continued to carry out some video calls without disclosing his diagnosis.


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