Prince William heartbreak: Duke opens up on ‘enormous debt of gratitude’ in candid letter

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Prince William, a former air ambulance pilot, voiced his support and admiration for members of the air ambulance community who have continued to work relentlessly even at the height of the ongoing pandemic. The Duke of Cambridge recalled his own efforts and work as a member of this community in a deeply personal letter he addressed to Air Ambulances UK marking the beginning of Air Ambulance Week. 

He wrote: “Having seen first-hand the incredible work of air ambulance teams both on the front line and behind the scenes, I hold a profound respect for all that you do. 

“Whether you are part of the critical care team bringing vital medical support to patients when every second counts; 

“An engineer who ensures that crews can be safely deployed at a moment’s notice;

“Or a volunteer working to keep the service running, the country owes yoy an enormous debt of gratitude.”  

Air Ambulances UK is the official national organisation supporting, representing and advocating the lifesaving work of those in this sector.

Prince William, who accepted a role as pilot at East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) in 2014 and worked with the organisation until July 2017, also touched upon the devastating effects the pandemic has had on frontline staff as well as charities such as Air Ambulances UK. 

He said: “The outbreak of COVID-19 has presented an immeasurably difficult challenge to all emergency responders. 

“You have had to adapt to new ways of working throughout the pandemic – while continuing to provide a crucial lifeline to those who need it the most. 

“However, I know from experience that a wonderful spirit runs through the air ambulance community and I encourage everyone to continue to take time to support one another through these difficult times. 

“I also know that for an emergency service funded almost entirely by public donations, this will have been an unsettling period for you all as fundraising activities have been curtailed. 

“I am enormously grateful to all those who support the work of air ambulance services across the country – even through these most challenging of times. 

“This Air Ambulance Week, more than ever, I am delighted to see a spotlight shone on the work of this community and all those who support you. 

“Your tireless dedication to saving lives and helping those in times of greatest need is a source of huge pride for your country.”  


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