Prince William has begun his paternity leave

Prince William is off duty! The British royal has started his unpaid leave from his job at the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service and will not return until June 1. The news means he is effectively on paternity leave as he and Kate Middleton await the arrival of their second child.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson shared that William completed the first phase of his air ambulance pilot training sooner than expected. A statement to HELLO! stated, "This is due to a combination of The Duke performing well in the various modules and having very good flying conditions that allowed flight training and assessment to progress more quickly than had been planned."

Prince William will not return to work until June 1 Photo: Getty Images

The Prince had always been expected to begin the second tranche of training in June after various official royal engagements in May and after spending time with his new bundle of joy. The statement continued: "His final block of in-work training requires an uninterrupted three-week block of working time and the availability of the new EC145 helicopter that will be used for missions. As he now will not have any further training to complete after returning from paternity leave, he will not return to duties until that time, and will remain on unpaid leave until then."

The royal couple are most probably enjoying quiet time at their London residence, which is just a short drive to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital near Paddington. This is where Kate also gave birth to George and where her trusted medical team is based.

His return is scheduled to take place after the birth and royal engagements in May Photo: Getty Images

They also have the pressing matter of a new housekeeper to appoint for their Norfolk home Anmer Hall, where they plan to bring up their young family. Their country house is within easy reach of the airports that William will cover when he begins operational duty with the air ambulance service in the summer.

William and Kate have been pleased with the support they have received from the public while all these changes take place. A recent statement from the couple said they are "hugely grateful for the warm wishes they have received from people throughout the U.K. and indeed around the world over the last few months.

"They know that people are excited Prince George will soon have a little brother or sister and it means a great deal to them that so many will be celebrating this important moment for their family.

"They are very appreciative that so many people share their excitement as they await the arrival of their second baby."