The Duke of Cambridge in the cockpit of a Chipmunk plane during a visit to RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire (Picture: Alamy).
Royals

Prince William: Duke of Cambridge's military career

The Duke of Cambridge has completed more than seven years of full-time military service.

The Duke of Cambridge in the cockpit of a Chipmunk plane during a visit to RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire (Picture: Alamy).

Prince William, like many members of the Royal Family, maintains close ties to the Armed Forces.

While his charitable efforts benefit the forces and veteran communities, the Duke of Cambridge also has seven-and-a-half years of full-time UK military service.

Here's a brief summary of the Duke's Armed Forces career

After graduating from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2005, the Duke joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Following a 44-week course as an Officer Cadet, he was commissioned as a British Army officer in December 2006.

Prince William then joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals) as a second lieutenant, commanding a troop of four Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicles, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant a year later.

Following the completion of his time with the Household Cavalry, 2008 saw the Prince undertake attachments to the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.

Prince William (left) with his brother, Prince Harry, in military attire in 2009 (Picture: PA).
Prince William (left) with his brother, Prince Harry, in military attire in 2009 (Picture: PA).

His four months with the RAF helped the Duke learn to pilot helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, while two months with the Royal Navy included shore training and navigation with sailors and the Royal Marines.

An interest in flying saw the Duke train as a search and rescue pilot in 2009.

Passing his exams with the Royal Air Force, Flight Lieutenant Wales joined C Flight, 22 Squadron, at RAF Valley in Anglesey in September 2010.

Three years as a search and rescue pilot saw the Duke conduct 156 operations, take on routine operational deployment to the Falkland Islands and qualify as an operational Captain.

After leaving operational duties with the Armed Forces, Prince William retrained to become an air ambulance pilot and worked with the East Anglian Air Ambulance for more than two years from March 2015.

Of his time spent working as an air ambulance pilot, the Duke said: "When I put my air ambulance hat on and I come here and I fly, I'm one of the team."

The Duke of Cambridge is patron of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Honorary Air Commandant of Royal Air Force Coningsby, highlighting the role of military history after creating some of his own.

Prince William and Princess Anne at Trooping the Colour to mark the Platinum Jubilee 020622 CREDIT MOD Crown Copyright
Prince William and Princess Anne at Trooping the Colour to mark the Platinum Jubilee (Picture: MOD).

Both the Duke and Prince Harry have highlighted the difficulties facing service personnel who wish to transition to civilian life.

In June 2022, Prince William, dressed in the uniform of Colonel, Irish Guards, Guard of Honour Order, took part in Trooping the Colour, an event that kicked off Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Cover image: The Duke of Cambridge in the cockpit of a Chipmunk plane during a visit to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire (Picture: Alamy).