Prince William Hints Prince George Will Follow in His Footsteps

Prince George could one day follow in his father, uncle and grandfather’s footsteps by taking to the skies and earning his wings, Prince William hinted during a Buckingham Palace garden party appearance on Tuesday.

Speaking to Squadron Leader Chrissie Lacey of RAF Coningsby, the Royal Air Force base of which King Charles III appointed Princess Kate Royal Honorary Air Commodore last year, William said his eldest son was eager to pay them a visit.

The prince described George, who will turn 11 in July, as a “potential pilot in the making,” according to the Daily Mail.

Prince George Royal International Air Tattoo
Prince George at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 14, 2023. The prince could one day train to be a pilot, Prince William has hinted.

Andrew Parsons / Kensington Palace

If the young prince were to one day take to the skies by learning to fly helicopters, he would be following in the footsteps of not only William, who flew search-and-rescue missions with the RAF during his time in the armed forces, but also his uncle, Prince Harry, an Apache helicopter co-pilot who served in the Afghanistan war, and his grandfather, Charles, who flew during his service with the Royal Navy.

George’s great-grandfather, Prince Philip, was also a keen aviator, learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, reportedly flying himself during some royal tours and visits.

Newsweek has approached Kensington Palace via email for comment.

George and his two siblings, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis,6, have become popular additions to official royal events in recent years, earning a growing fanbase among royal watchers.

Though George was photographed attending a soccer match with his father in April, the Wales children have not attended a public event together since December 2023.

The family has largely remained out of the public eye while Kate has experienced health setbacks since the beginning of the year.

Prince George and Prince William Helicopter
Prince William and Prince George observing a Squirrel helicopter during a visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, on July 8, 2016.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In January, the princess underwent abdominal surgery in London which was followed by a period of recuperation away from public duties. On March 22, this public absence was extended when Kate announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing a course of “preventative chemotherapy” treatment.

George, Charlotte and Louis missed the annual royal Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle in the aftermath of Kate’s announcement and the next ceremonial event they would traditionally attend would be the Trooping the Colour celebrations in June. The children’s attendance at the event is not expected to be confirmed until closer to the time.

The Wales family currently live at Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate where the children attend school nearby.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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