Here is a little royal round up of some things that have been happening. Prince William officially left his job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), the Swedish royal family color-coordinated in blue for their summer photo, and the Belgian royal family color-coordinated in purples for National Day.
It’s been 3 years since KP announced that William would be joining EAAA, and it’s been 2 years since he actually officially started the job, but now William has officially left EAAA – he completed his last shift yesterday, July 27. For his final day at work, William arrived for a night shift, and attended the hand over briefings from the day team, before joining his team-mates at the helicopter for a group photograph. KP insists on calling William a pilot, but I thought he was still just a co-pilot.
William wrote a long piece for the Eastern Daily Press to mark his last day at work, saying:
“As I arrive for work at East Anglian Air Ambulance this evening, my last shift with this incredible team, I wanted to say thank you to my colleagues, team mates and the people of East Anglia who I have been so proud to serve. Over the past two years I have met people from across the region who were in the most desperate of circumstances. As part of the team, I have been invited into people’s homes to share moments of extreme emotion, from relief that we have given someone a fighting chance, to profound grief. I have watched as incredibly skilled doctors and paramedics have saved people’s lives. These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services, which I hope to continue to champion even as I leave the profession. I am hugely grateful for having had this experience. From the moment I joined, when that phone rang at the base for the first time, it was clear that I was a fellow professional, a pilot with a job to do – in such a team there can be no other option, but still I am grateful to my colleagues for accepting me so readily.
“At EAAA, our helicopters are airborne within four minutes of getting a call and can reach patients anywhere in the region within 25 minutes. We land in residential gardens, school playing fields, beaches, roadsides, anywhere it is safe to do so. As a pilot, my job is to get the medical team to the patient as quickly and safely as possible, so they can give treatment as soon as possible after injury. We are sent to only one per cent of ambulance call outs, where having a trauma team and getting the hospital to the patient quickly, can mean the difference between life and death. I have watched our medical team perform surgery on a patient within minutes of jumping off the helicopter – their level of skill is astounding. As a pilot at the scene, we will sometimes try and help by co-ordinating the area around the medical team, carrying their kit and doing whatever it takes to ensure they can focus on their work. It is a joint effort, and everyone plays his or her role with great professionalism and dedication. As a team, we travel to some very daunting incidents and we have been though some incredibly tough times together, witnessing some appalling tragedies.
“One of the first call outs I made was to a young man who had taken his own life; it was an incredibly tough day and had a profound effect on all of us, not least in my determination now to draw attention to this issue. Another rescue that sticks in my mind was to a young man who was involved in a road accident. His uncle in the car with him sadly didn’t survive, and I was sure that from what we were faced with he wouldn’t either – but thanks to the skills of our medical team he is alive today. We were first on scene and in such circumstances we all had to pitch in to fight to save the young man’s life. It is days like this, when you know you have made a difference, that give you the determination to keep going. I have seen at first-hand how our doctors, paramedics, police, fire and emergency services teams work together with such skill and professionalism in stressful situations.
“I have also been very fortunate to work with an organisation which recognises the stress its staff deals with and puts their welfare as such a high priority. You need to be physically and mentally fit to do this job properly and so we are encouraged to talk through the things we have seen, to share the trauma within the team. I now know though that there are things that cannot be unseen and experiences that our first responders deal with on a daily basis that they will carry with them for life. I have the utmost respect for the job that our emergency services carry out, without fuss, on a daily basis.
“Having had the great good fortune to experience serving the East Anglian Air Ambulance, I would like to finally say thank you to the community who fund, support and keep the air ambulance flying. As I hang up my flight suit, I am proud to have served with such an incredible team of people, who save lives across the region every day.”
The royal reporters keep insisting that, starting in the fall, William will be a full-time working royal, but we’ll see.
The Swedish royal family released a summer family photo taken at Solliden Palace in Öland in July featuring the entire family: King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, Prince Oscar, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, Prince Alexander, Princess Madeleine, Chris O’Neill, Princess Leonore, and Prince Nicolas.
I assume the photo was taken on the day after Victoria’s birthday since she is wearing the same outfit.
Victoria also released a thank you message for her birthday wishes:
“Thank you for all the congratulations associated with my birthday. Thank you for the warmth you showed, both in Stockholm and Öland and in many regards. It was nice to celebrate my birthday with you. I would also like to thank you for all generous contributions to our foundation. Our foundation works to promote good health and counteract childhood and youth exclusion. Your contribution will benefit many.”
July 21 was National Day in Belgium, and King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eleonore attended a Te Deum before attending a military parade.
The family color-coordinated in shades of purple, which even Philippe matched due to the purple sash of the Order of Leopold (Belgium). Mathilde’s dress has those flared sleeves because this trend just won’t die.