Prince William starts new job in the skies - as air ambulance pilot

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prince William took up his new job as an air ambulance pilot on Monday, though he will only start flying rescue missions later this year, his office said.

"The Duke of Cambridge has today started work as an employee of Bond Air Services," Kensington Palace, his London residence, said in a statement.

"He will undertake job-specific training before he begins piloting missions for East Anglian Air Ambulance during the summer," it added.

The duke's programme will include using a flight simulator and in-flight training, the palace said.

Kensington Palace had announced William's new job in August last year and said he would be based at Cambridge airport in eastern England, responding to emergencies ranging from road traffic accidents to heart attacks.

The prince, who is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, completed in September 2013 a three-year stint as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in northwest Wales.

The 32-year-old's wife Kate is due to give birth next month. The couple already have a son, Prince George, who turns two in July.

They are expected to split their time between Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall, a country house on Queen Elizabeth II's private estate in Norfolk, eastern England.

While the prince's job will take up most of his time, his rota will take into account royal duties in Britain and abroad.

He will reportedly be paid an annual salary of £40,000 (S$81,426), but will donate it in full to charity.

He is thought to be the first royal directly in line to inherit the throne to sign a job contract with a civilian employer.

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