UK's Prince William to fulfil flying dream

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London, Oct 10 (UNI) Britain's Prince William will be following his father's footsteps by learning to fly with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and take to the sea by serving with the Royal Navy next year.

William (25), second-in-line to the throne, will spend four months with the RAF from next January, piloting helicopters and fixed-wing planes, Telegraph newspaper quoted Clarence House spokesperson as saying today.

Prince William joined the Army two years ago after taking a gap year at St Andrews University in Scotland where he graduated in geography.

His father Prince Charles, grandfather Prince Philip and uncle Prince Andrew all qualified as pilots with the RAF.

''His time with the RAF will ... allow him to realise a lifetime ambition to learn to fly,'' the spokesperson said.

''Prince William has spent the last two years in Army. He would now like some familiarisation and understanding of both the RAf and the Royal Navy given the fact that one day he will be head of the Armed Forces,'' the spokesperson said.

After his experience with the RAF, he would then spend four months with the Royal Navy serving on submarines and surface ships.

He would then decide, in consultation with the Prince of Wales and the Queen, whether to prolong his three year military career or to take a job in the commercial or charitable sector. Alternatively, he could opt to become a full-time working Royal.

The decision for William to spend time with the Royal Navy and the RAF is a reflection of the fact that as a King he would be head of the Armed Forces, the newspaper reported.

He has been a second lieutenant in the Household Cavalry Regiment since completing his training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst last December.

His first posting as an officer was with the Blue and Royals, one of the two senior regiments that form the Household Cavalry, which guards the Queen. He commands a troop of four armoured reconnaissance vehicles, crewed by 12 men.

By serving in the military Prince William is following in a long royal tradition. The Prince of Wales earned his 'wings' in 1971, before going on to command a Royal Navy minesweeper, the HMS Bronington.

Prince Harry, who was also commissioned as an officer after training at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, was due to go to Iraq as a troop leader with the Blues and Royals Regiment.

But his deployment was cancelled because military commanders feared that the publicity would put the prince and his unit at a greater risk.

UNI

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