The prince, 32, has completed part of his air ambulance training earlier than thought

By Simon Perry
April 21, 2015 09:25 AM
Tim Rooke/Rex USA

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Prince William has completed the initial phase of helicopter training for his new air ambulance job – and can now devote himself to being at home to help wife Kate as she prepares to have the royal baby.

William, 32, is now on unpaid leave until his paternity leave starts once his wife gives birth.

More important, there is little chance now of him being apart from Kate, 33, when she goes into labor. Aides had said that he would never be more than two hours’ drive away should he be working when the emergency call came.

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And, in more good news for the family, William’s brother Prince Harry will be back in the U.K. this weekend, meaning he will be able to meet his new niece or nephew, provided the baby has arrived by then. Harry, 30, who is on secondment with the Australian military, is heading back home for an engagement at the London Marathon Sunday.

Although he is stationed Down Under, army captain Harry will be in Turkey alongside his father Prince Charles, 66, for the commemorations of the Gallipoli Campaign on Saturday, so it will be easy for him to fly back to the U.K. for the medal presentations he’s set to make.

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A statement released by William’s office at Kensington Palace says he has completed the first training period with Bond Air Services, which supplies crews for East Anglia Air Ambulance, “earlier than anticipated.”

This is due to a combination of [him] performing well in the various modules and having very good flying conditions that allowed flight training and assessment to progress more quickly than had been planned,” the statement reads.

William will continue with his training on a new helicopter after June 1, following some royal engagements in his diary, the statement adds.

“His final block of in-work training requires an uninterrupted three-week block of working time and the availability of the new EC145 helicopter that will be used for missions.

“As he now will not have any further training to complete after returning from paternity leave, he will not return to duties with Bond until that time, and will remain on unpaid leave until then.”

Keep reading PEOPLE.com for more on the royal birth.

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