Wills, spills and bellyache – a day in the life of a duke

Making the tea, drinking the tea, polishing his helicopter and... saving lives. Now we know what Prince William gets up to all day

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The Independent Online

As part of the Royal Family's mission that we continue to get to know (and fall for) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the nation was yesterday treated to a series of pictures detailing a typical day in the life of William at work. In a gallery on the couple's website, viewers are told that the "exclusive photographs detail a working day in the life of Flight Lieutenant Wales at RAF Valley".

After the news stories of his heroism at the controls of his helicopter, you'd be forgiven for approaching the images with excitement. But if you were hoping for pictures of a shirtless Wills saving a fair maiden from the double threat of swirling seas and pirates, you'll be disappointed.

Instead you get a photograph of him eating salad in the dining room with his four-man crew. Indeed, the general theme of the photographs could be described as serious, but mundane. There was a frisson of excitement in the office when some pictures were withdrawn for security reasons, but even those only showed Ft Lt Wales chewing a pen during a computer training session, at his side a mug of tea with a picture of a pig.

The other theme is tea. In one picture, Will makes a brew for his colleagues in mugs with their names on them. In another he is seen enjoying his cuppa in an armchair. If these images are an accurate representation of his working day, then he spends at least a third of it slurping a cup of tea.

We are reminded, however, that his is a serious job. "The crew can never be more than 60 seconds away from their aircraft, even during rare periods of downtime," says the caption of the photo of Will looking half asleep in an armchair. In the next image, he is carrying out the particularly unroyal task of making his bed. But before you are allowed to think that he gets it easy, the caption informs: "Each shift lasts 24 hours, and crew members stay on base close to the aircraft overnight."

The attempts at seriousness are also helped by Will wearing his serious face throughout. While the series might serve as a riposte to those who say that the Royal Family don't work, they would hardly serve as effective recruiting posters for the RAF. Unless, of course, the prospective pilot really loved tea...