Prince William has worked just 100 hours as a helicopter pilot this year, according to incendiary new claims in the ‘Lazy William’ row.
The new allegation will stoke the row which exploded after it appeared that the palace was attempting to use the part-time helicopter-flying role to excuse William from royal commitments, while work colleagues said he was using royal commitments to get out of his allotted shifts.
Incredibly, William has performed just two royal engagements in total this year, and his next official ‘job’ is due on Friday – when he has to go and watch a Rugby match, Wales v France in the Six Nations rugby in Cardiff on Friday.
Now of course no-one’s pretending that when William goes to watch a game, he can sit back and relax with a few beers like everyone else.
He’ll be on duty, representing the nation, and making nice with endless officials from the Rugby world isn’t many people’s idea of a cracking Friday night. And we are sure that William is engaged in plenty of behind the scenes royal jobs and meetings that don’t show up on the public radar.
But William is well rewarded for this public role. He has, essentially, access and use of untold riches, including for starters two wonderful homes, Anmer Hall in Norfolk and Kensington palace in London. These are provided free by the Crown and maintained by the public purse.
Critics of the Cambridge domestic set up point out that £4million of public money was spent on the refurbishment of the family’s 22-room apartment at Kensington Palace, which is now rarely used, as William hunkers down in the country instead, leading the life of a gentleman farmer.
However the Sun today reports that William has completed just 12 shifts as a helicopter pilot since January 1.
The revelation comes after his job for East Anglia Air Ambulance was used to explain why Wills has only managed two royal engagements so far this year.
The palace attempted to use supposed health and safety regulations to excuse William’s very low rate of visible royal work arguing that a strict definition of rest days precluded him from undertaking royal public engagements on his days off.
But the Civil Aviation Authority, the independent body which regulates pilots flying and rest hours as part of its overall flight safety remit, rubbished the claims, telling the Daily Beast there was no reason why William could not undertake a little light ribbon cutting and other royal duties on his days off. CAA sources said that there would not even be a specific ban on a pilot who worked part time working in another casual job, such as barman or shop assistant, on their days off.
Worryingly for the palace, there appears to be a chatty, disgruntled employee working alongside William who told the Sun: “We all know it’s a token job for him. In the past we haven’t seen him for weeks at a time. It’s not as exciting as the RAF. There he’d run off and rescue people from the sea. Here he ferries people to hospital and sits outside for an hour. He looks bored out of his skull. He’s not overly liked and people are nervous of him. He’s hardly ever here. We didn’t see him for the whole of December.”