The Duke of Cambridge, 38, who flew as a medic for two years with the East Anglian Air Ambulance until 2017, praised the front line workers in the letter, which was shared yesterday on Twitter.
Prince William penned: ‘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.’
Earlier this year it emerged that Prince William wanted to return to the NHS as an air ambulance pilot to help efforts during the Covid-19 crisis.
Prince William, 38, paid tribute to the air ambulance community in a moving open letter months after revealing he was considering a return the charity to do his bit in the fight against coronavirus
Sharing the letter online, the charity wrote: ‘We’re delighted to mark the start of Air Ambulance Week 2020 with an open letter written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge to the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities thanking all who work, volunteer & support them in their tireless efforts in helping to save lives every day across the UK.’
William penned: ‘As we mark Air Ambulance Week 2020, I wanted to send my personal thanks to each and every member of the air ambulance community for the vital role you play in saving lives every day.
He said he had ‘profound respect’ for those working for the air ambulance, adding: ‘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 you an enormous debt of gratitude.’
William went on to address the challenges of the pandemic, saying: ‘The outbreak of Covid-19 has presented an immeasurably difficult challenge to all emergency responders.
The Duke of Cambridge worked as a pilot for the service for two years and was said to be contemplating a return to service earlier this year
‘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 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.’
The Duke also recognised that it had been a difficult period for an emergency service, writing: ‘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 the most challenging of times.
The Duke penned the open letter to the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities thanking all who work, volunteer and support them
‘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 our country.’
It comes after the Duke suggested he missed his work for the air ambulance earlier this year during a visit to a NHS call centre in Croydon, south London.
Prince William worked as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance for 18 months between 2015 and 2017, before stepping down to take on more Royal roles on behalf of the Queen.
He left the role to spend more time in London when his children started school at Thomas’s, Battersea, and take on more royal duties to support the Queen.
The royal reportedly suggested he missed his work for the air ambulance during a visit to an NHS call centre in March of this year
A source told the Sun in March that the royal was contemplating a return to service.
The insider said: ‘William has been seriously considering returning as an air ambulance pilot to help in the current pandemic.
‘He knows the whole country is doing its bit and he wants to help. But it’s complicated as he was originally grounded from the job so that he could become a senior working royal.’
The insider added that Prince William was ‘very keen to to do anything he can to help.’