There's still royal work to be done

By Simon Perry
January 09, 2019 07:11 AM

Kate Middleton is 37 today — but there’s still royal work to be done!

While Kate stayed home at Kensington Palace, Prince William took to the skies before meeting air ambulance staff in London on Wednesday.

William, 36, worked as an air ambulance pilot for around two years in East Anglia, close to the couple’s country home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, and arrived in one of the London Air Ambulance charity’s helicopters to see crews at the Royal London Hospital.

Also on Wednesday, William was announced as the patron of the air ambulance’s anniversary campaign, enabling him to “champion those working on the frontline, and highlight the importance of the London Air Ambulance’s rapid response to incidents, and cutting-edge medical care,” his office said.

The charity is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and the royal dad visited staff, patients and their families at a tea party marking the anniversary.

Prince William (right)
| Credit: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Credit: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Prince William in the cockpit on Wednesday
| Credit: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images

During his visit, William spent time chatting to clinicians and paramedics about their experiences working on the front lines and learned more about the work the LAA is undertaking in the area of mental health support for their staff.

Prince William in the cockpit for the East Anglia Air Ambulance in 2015.
| Credit: Stefan Rousseau WPA - Pool/Getty

William has spoken about the challenges he faced while working as a pilot and has often highlighted the need for mental health support at workplaces.

  • Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

The London Air Ambulance delivers an advanced trauma team rapidly to critically injured people all year round. Before it was set up in 1989, many seriously injured patients lost their lives unnecessarily because of the delay in receiving prompt and appropriate medical care.

Welcoming his patronage of the anniversary campaign, Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said, “Through his support, we aim to raise awareness of the life-saving work carried out by us and by air ambulances across the U.K. Our crew face significant challenges when delivering our rapid response and cutting-edge medical treatments in London.”

“Through funds raised in our 30th year, we plan to improve our facilities to ensure we can respond even faster, enhance our training and ensure our crews have the facilities they need for their mental health and wellbeing.”