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Graduation day for Prince William

Prince William is due to graduate as a Search and Rescue Force helicopter pilot and has described his delight at completing the "challenging" course.

The second-in-line to the throne will join 22 Squadron, C Flight as a fully operational co-pilot in a Sea King Mk3 helicopter now he has completed his flying training.

The royal, who will be based at RAF Valley on Anglesey, said: "I am really delighted to have completed the training course with my fellow students.

"The course has been challenging, but I have enjoyed it immensely. I absolutely love flying, so it will be an honour to serve operationally with the Search and Rescue Force, helping to provide such a vital emergency service."

The 28-year-old prince has spent the last 18 months on a number of flying courses progressing from squirrel helicopters to griffins and finally spending much of the year at the controls of Sea Kings on an operational conversion unit to prepare him for his new role.

At RAF Valley, Flight Lieutenant Wales and six fellow students will be presented with a certificate and a Search and Rescue Force badge by the unit's Commander, Group Captain Jonathan Dixon.

A St James' Palace spokeswoman stressed the prince would not have any guests at the presentation.

It will be a number of weeks before the royal embarks on his first 24-hour shift as he will have to undergo "acceptance" - learning the terrain and landing sites crews are regularly called out to by flying to the places during day and night exercises.

Footage showing the prince on a routine training exercise has been released by the Ministry of Defence to mark the graduation.

In the video William, who is wearing a green flying suit and carrying his helmet in his left hand, is seen walking across the airfield at RAF Valley on a sunny day to a yellow Sea King Search and Rescue helicopter.


From Belfast Telegraph