Prince William's assignment began with a week at SIS – known as MI6 – whose officers work secretly overseas

By Simon Perry
April 06, 2019 07:00 PM

Prince William… super spy!

The prince, 36, has just completed three weeks immersing himself in the world of espionage.

His attachment to the United Kingdom’s Security and Intelligence Agencies (the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Security Service and GCHQ) ended this weekend, his office announced in a press statement on Saturday.

With the threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. set at “severe” or above for the last five years, William was “keen to see first-hand the extraordinary work that staff across the Security and Intelligence Agencies do,” his office at Kensington Palace said.

“Spending time inside our security and intelligence agencies, understanding more about the vital contribution they make to our national security, was a truly humbling experience,” William said.

“These agencies are full of people from everyday backgrounds doing the most extraordinary work to keep us safe,” he added.

Credit: Richard Stonehouse - WPA Pool/Getty Images

They work in secret, often not even able to tell their family and friends about the work they do or the stresses they face.

“They are driven by an unrivaled patriotism and dedication to upholding the values of this country,” William said. “We all owe them deep gratitude for the difficult and dangerous work they do.”

His assignment began with a week at SIS – known as MI6 – whose officers work secretly overseas, developing foreign contacts and gathering intelligence that helps to make the U.K. safer and more prosperous. He was shown how SIS helps the U.K. identify and exploit opportunities as well as navigate risks to its national security, military effectiveness and economy from those who wish the country harm.

Then his second week was spent at the Security Service – known as MI5 – where he worked alongside counter-terrorism teams to see how they conduct their investigations, including understanding the role of analysis and surveillance.

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And this past week, he has been attached to GCHQ in Cheltenham (which is sometimes known as the U.K.’s listening post) where he spent time with the experts using cutting-edge technology, technical ingenuity and wide-ranging partnerships to identify, analyze and disrupt threats.

In the statement, “David,” GCHQ Head of Counter-Terrorism Operations, praised the royal for working “exceptionally hard to embed himself in the team and comfortably held his own amongst some highly skilled analysts and operators.”

He added, “His Royal Highness asked some probing questions and demonstrated a real grasp of our mission. This was a rare opportunity to expose, in detail, the technical ingenuity and problem-solving skills needed on a daily basis to help keep the U.K. safe.”