William completes ‘humbling’ work experience with spy agencies

The Duke of Cambridge has spent a "humbling" three weeks working with MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, to better understand how the UK's security and intelligence agencies work.

His time came to an end on Saturday, when he spent the final day of his attachment at GCHQ.

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Prince William the pilot
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Prince William the pilot
The Duke of Cambridge starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge Poses for a final photo with both day and night shift crews as he starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge. (left to right) CCP Gary spitzer, Dr Karen rhodes, Dr Adam Chesters, Prince William, Cpt Matt Sandbach, Cpt Dave Kelly, Pilot Olly Gates, Dr Tobias Gouse and CcpCarl Smith .
The Duke of Cambridge after a flight in a Chipmunk with pilot Squadron Leader Duncan Mason during a visit to RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
The Duke of Cambridge after a flight in a Chipmunk with pilot Squadron Leader Duncan Mason during a visit to RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
The Duke of Cambridge wears a flight suit before a flight in an RAF Chipmunk with pilot Squadron Leader Duncan Mason during a visit to RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge sits in a newly restored Supermarine Spitfire Mark l N3200 as he visits The Imperial War Museum Duxford
EMBARGOED TO 1300 THURSDAY AUGUST 7 East Anglian Air Ambulance Crew members (left to right) Dr Antonio Bellini, Critical Care Manager Gary Spitzer, Captain Dave Kelly and Dr Jayne McKinlay, stand alongside their helicopter at Cambridge Airport, in Cambridgeshire.
EMBARGOED TO 1300 THURSDAY AUGUST 7 Captain Dave Kelly makes pre flight checks onboard the East Anglian Air Ambulance at Cambridge Airport. The Duke of Cambridge will train as an air ambulance pilot before taking up a full time role next year, Kensington Palace has confirmed.
The Duke of Cambridge arrives on board a helicopter for a visit to the Royal London Hospital for London�s Air Ambulance 30th anniversary celebrations.
The Duke of Cambridge (left) starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge Poses for a final photo with the night shift crew as he starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge. (left to right) Dr Adam Chesters, Prince William, Cpt Dave Kelly, Dr Tobias Gouse and CCP Carl Smith.
The Duke of Cambridge (centre) in the briefing room with the crews as he starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge (right) starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge (left) as he starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge (left) starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based out of Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance based out of Marshall Airport near Cambridge.
File photo dated 13/07/15 of the Duke of Cambridge walking towards his helicopter as he began his job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with their grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, as they open the new base of East Anglian Air Ambulance at Cambridge Airport.
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The services are "full of people from everyday backgrounds doing the most extraordinary work to keep us safe," William said.

The head of counter-terrorism at GCHQ said the duke had worked "exceptionally hard" on his placements.

William first spent a week with the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, which deals with foreign intelligence and protects the UK from risks abroad.

He learned about the risks to the UK's national security, military effectiveness and economy, Kensington Palace said.

He then shadowed the Security Service (MI5) for a week, where he saw counter-terrorism teams analysing intelligence and conducting investigations on UK soil.

Finally, he worked at GCHQ, the Government's listening centre in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, which monitors communications to look for potential security threats to the UK.

After his placements, the duke said: "Spending time inside our security and intelligence agencies, understanding more about the vital contribution they make to our national security, was a truly humbling experience.

"These agencies are full of people from everyday backgrounds doing the most extraordinary work to keep us safe.

"They work in secret, often not even able to tell their family and friends about the work they do or the stresses they face.

"They are driven by an unrivalled patriotism and dedication to upholding the values of this country.

"We all owe them deep gratitude for the difficult and dangerous work they do."

A man known only as David, GCHQ head of counter-terrorism operations, said: "Having the Duke of Cambridge spend time with our teams was an incredible opportunity.

"William worked exceptionally hard to embed himself in the team and comfortably held his own amongst some highly skilled analysts and operators.

"His Royal Highness asked some probing questions and demonstrated a real grasp of our mission.

"This was a rare opportunity to expose, in detail, the technical ingenuity and problem solving skills needed on a daily basis to help keep the UK safe."

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