Prince William pictured back on dutyCritics dubbed him ‘workshy’ after he missed a Commonwealth Day ceremony and headed off on a skiing jaunt with friends instead.But Prince William was back on duty last week – clearly putting the furore behind him – in the cockpit of his East Anglian Air Ambulance helicopter.Our exclusive pictures were snapped on Thursday after William and the crew dropped a patient at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – and then had some downtime between assignments.As the Prince, 34, follows his crew back towards their helicopter, he pauses, placing his hands on his knees – seemingly checking under the aircraft. He also appears to joke with a doctor as he stands chatting with colleagues.And having reached the helicopter, he sits on the landing skids and, with one hand stuck casually in his pocket, uses the other to look at his phone.Perhaps he was checking social media – hoping that there were no more ‘dad-dancing’ pictures of the sort that emerged after his lads’ ski trip to Verbier.Or maybe he was just doing what most young dads do when they have a free moment at work – checking on the wife and children at home.And proving that he is no different to any of his colleagues, William had to make an extra emergency stop in the middle of a rescue last week. His helicopter made a special detour to the Tally Ho pub in Royston on Tuesday for William to use the bathroom. Last month, The Mail on Sunday revealed that the Prince’s helicopter had come within 100ft of a passing drone which could have caused a serious collision. While William was not aboard during the near miss, the helicopter in question was one he uses regularly.But there was nothing out of the ordinary to alarm pilot William on Thursday. After the crew’s short break, he started the engine and skilfully manoeuvred the helicopter into the sky without incident.Though William was back on emergency duties last week, he has faced a growing backlash over his apparent lack of Royal appearances this year, although Palace sources were keen to stress that William has been working regularly for the EAAA since his return from Verbier. As of last week, he had carried out only 17 days of official engagements in 2017, compared to the Prince of Wales’s 49.This summer he will quit his job with the air ambulance to allow him to focus more on Royal duties.
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