Prince William is to serve on attachment to the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF) next year, following completion of his time as an armoured reconnaissance troop leader with the Household Cavalry Regiment.
The attachments are primarily designed to familiarise Prince William with the structures, capabilities and ethos of the RAF and the Royal Navy. He will be able to share the working lives of airmen and sailors, and to make comparisons with his own experience to date as an Army officer. His time with the RAF will also allow him to realise a lifetime ambition to learn to fly.
The 25-year old Prince will follow in his father’s footsteps by learning to pilot helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The four-month secondment with the RAF starts in January.
After his spell with the RAF, Prince William will be attached to the Royal Navy next summer. As with the RAF, he will spend time gaining an understanding of the fullest spectrum of the Royal Navy’s capabilities - from submarines to the ships of the surface fleet, as well as the Fleet Air Arm.
The two secondments follow a year in the Blues and Royals, one of the two regiments that form the Household Cavalry. During this period Prince William successfully passed an intensive, specialist armoured reconnaissance troop leaders’ course at Bovington in Dorset.
For much of this year, though, The Prince has been experiencing regimental life in the Household Cavalry, where as a ‘Cornet’ (Second Lieutenant) he commands a troop of four Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicles, crewed by 12 men.
Prince William was commissioned into The Blues and Royals from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December 2006.
In addition to his military activities over the next year, Prince William will be undertaking a number of public engagements in support of those organisations, such as the Football Association and Centrepoint, of which he is President or Patron.