Prince William Passed Over as the Patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance in Favor of Sophie Wessex

As a former air ambulance pilot, Prince William seems like the ideal choice for the patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance charity. Despite years of experience, William was passed over for the patronage in 2019 in favor of his aunt, Sophie Wessex. Why did the Thames Valley Air Ambulance pick Sophie, Countess of Wessex, over William?

Sophie Wessex Prince William
Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward, and Prince William | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Sophie Wessex is named patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance

In early 2019, the Thames Valley Air Ambulance charity picked Sophie to be its patron. For the past year, Sophie has worked hard for the charity and has continued that work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This month, Sophie took part in a video conference with the charity from the comfort of her home, Bagshot Park. Sophie is currently in isolation with her husband, Prince Edward, while the country is in lockdown.

During the call, Sophie thanked the ambulance crew for their continued work on the front lines. She also thanked the National Health Service, which has worked closely with the charity during the current crisis.

While Sophie has proven to be a great patron of the charity, many royal watchers have been wondering why Prince William wasn’t considered for the job in the first place.

Why was Prince William passed over?

Turns out, there is a good reason why the Thames Valley Air Ambulance chose Sophie to be its patron. According to Express, the air ambulance saved Sophie’s life in 2001 after she experienced a near-fatal ectopic pregnancy.

At the time of her emergency, an air ambulance flew Sophie from Bagshot Park to a hospital in London to undergo life-saving surgery. Sophie was six weeks into her pregnancy and was on the operating table for two-and-a-half hours. Although doctors saved her life, Sophie’s baby was tragically lost.

Upon her appointment to the patronage, the Thames Valley Air Ambulance released a statement explaining why Sophie was a perfect fit for their organization. Considering all of the good work she has complete so far, she was definitely a smart pick.

“Having personally benefited from its expert crew in 2001, the countess knows only too well how every day, anyone in the community could be in urgent need of the organization’s vital emergency service,” the statement read.

Prince William reportedly wants to rejoin air ambulance

Although William missed out on the air ambulance patronage, he remains dedicated to the service. William piloted the East Anglican Air Ambulance for a number of years before retiring in 2017, and an inside source claims that he wants to get back to his old job.

The source told Express that Prince William is thinking about applying for his old position in the air ambulance to help out in the current crisis.

“William has been seriously considering returning as an air ambulance pilot to help in the current pandemic,” the insider dished. “He knows the whole country is doing its bit and he wants to help.”

The source noted that Prince William left his position so that he could fulfill his duties as a full-time member of the royal family. With the royals taking a step back due to the pandemic, William has plenty of time on his hands to get back in the air.

A few weeks ago, William and Kate Middleton visited a hospital in Croydon in support of workers fighting the coronavirus. During the stay, William commented on how much he misses being working in the field of emergency services.

Prince William has not confirmed the reports about rejoining the air ambulance. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently living in their country estate, Anmer Hall. 

The Duke of Cambridge thanks charity launched by Princess Diana

While we wait to see what happens on the air ambulance front, William has been active behind the scenes. Like Sophie and other members of the royal family, William has been partaking in royal engagements via video conference and sending letters.

This includes a recent note he sent to Child Bereavement UK, thanking the charity for their “vital” work during the crisis.

“I remain ever grateful and inspired by the vital work you do, including in this time of uncertainty,” Prince William wrote. “I know many of you are having to adapt to how you offer your services which can bring its own challenges, but I am in no doubt that those you are supporting are extremely appreciative.”

According to Mirror, Princess Diana launched the charity in 1994 in an effort to help children who are faced with awful tragedies. Unfortunately, the organization has witnessed an increase in cases due to the pandemic, though William is confident that they are equipped for the job.

“I am certain you will all rise to the challenge and become a crucial lifeline for those who are suffering unthinkable loss,” he shared.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are currently working from Anmer Hall during the coronavirus pandemic.