London

Prince William flies air ambulance to hospital

The Duke of Cambridge in a helicopter Image copyright PA
Image caption The Duke of Cambridge said he had not flown since June but was "happy" to get back in the pilot's seat

The Duke of Cambridge flew a helicopter to a hospital to celebrate the 30th anniversary of London's Air Ambulance.

Prince William, a former pilot with the air ambulance service in East Anglia, flew from Kensington Palace for 25 minutes before landing on a helipad at the Royal London Hospital.

The ceremonial flight marked the duke being named as patron for the charity's anniversary campaign.

A top pilot said he was impressed with the duke's aviation skills.

Neil Jeffers said: "We put him in the right seat, the captain's seat of the aircraft.

"He has only flown the aircraft a couple of times but was happy to fly it - so he did all the flying from the palace."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince William began piloting his first operational missions for the East Anglian Air Ambulance in July 2015
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The prince was given birthday cards to pass on to his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge

As part of his visit to the charity, the prince was shown a graphic demonstration of how paramedics would deal with a stab victim.

But, in a lighter moment, he was given a birthday card to pass on to his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, who turned 37 on Wednesday.

He said: "I did remember this morning - so I was OK."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince William was shown how the charity's medics might treat a patient after a stabbing
Image copyright PA
Image caption The duke visited the Royal London Hospital after being named patron of London Air Ambulance's 30th anniversary campaign

The card was made by Alma Shahar, six, whose father Yair Shahar, 49, had been given critical treatment by the air ambulance after being run over by a car when cycling in Edmonton, north London, in 2016.

Alma wrote in the card: "Kate, I hope you've had the best birthday you could ever imagine."

Kensington Palace thanked the public for their "lovely messages".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The prince, who flew from Kensington Palace to the hospital on Wednesday, was a pilot for the EAAA until July 2017

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