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Prince William receives a visit from his grandmother the Queen at work

prince william
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
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Prince William nearly missed out on a big day at work after he was called out on an emergency on the morning the Queen opened his new helicopter base. The Duke of Cambridge, 34, scrambled to a "medical incident" in King's Lynn, Norfolk, as his grandmother left her nearby Sandringham Estate for her visit to East Anglian Air Ambulance's new Egerton-Smith Centre at Cambridge airport.

But after attending to a patient, he made it back to base with moments to spare and later told Her Majesty he had spotted her helicopter in mid-air during the return journey.

Wearing navy blue overalls with the badge "William Wales" on his chest, he greeted the 90-year-old monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh, 95, inside the centre, kissing them on both cheeks.

prince william3© Photo: Getty Images

Prince William nearly missed the Queen's visit after he was called out on an emergency

The Queen said: "You're only just back," and her grandson replied: "Yes we just made it."

William then showed them around the crew room before escorting them outside to see the aircraft he had just landed. The Queen and Prince Philip had a good look at the H145 helicopter as William introduced them to medics, support staff and pilots.

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Before leaving again for London, where she oversaw the instalment of Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday afternoon, Her Majesty was handed a posy of traditional English flowers by two-year-old Pepe Casanova.

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The Queen and Prince Philip had a good look at the H145 helicopter

Pepe was just five months old when his life was saved by medics flown to his home in Wymondham, Norfolk, by EAAA. His mother Ana, 41, explained how her baby son fell seriously ill due to undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes.

She told HELLO!: "They had to give life-saving treatment to Pepe on our living room floor. I was absolutely terrified and numb at the same time. I can't put it into words, when somebody steps in and saves your child's life in front of you."

William's air ambulance colleague Dr Pam Chrispin, 57, also opened up about working with their royal team member. 

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The royals were visiting a new helicopter base at Cambridge airport

"William is a great pilot, he's a charming person, but most importantly he's a really great team player," she told HELLO!. "So he's settled into the team really well and he is just one of us - I know that sounds ridiculous - but he is just one of us. I think for him this is as close to having a normal job as he can possible get." Dr Chrispin also revealed the amusing gift she and her colleagues presented to William as a welcome gift.

"We got him a mug before he arrived and it says I wasn't around when he received it but I'm sure he's pleased just to have his own mug," she said. "It's a bit embarrassing Jemma, one of the paramedics, and I, she's Princess Jemma and I'm Princess Pammie and we have mugs with those names, but he doesn't mind."

prince william4© Photo: Getty Images

"William is a great pilot, he's a charming person, but most importantly he's a really great team player"

EAAA, which was launched as a charity in 2000, flies an average of five missions per day from its two bases in Cambridge and Norwich and covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

EAAA helicopters can reach patients anywhere in the region within 25 minutes, providing treatment and transporting them to hospital if needed.

Pilots like William are trained to land in unusual areas such as gardens, carparks, beaches and roadsides. Regular landing areas for EAAA helicopters include residential gardens, carparks, beaches and roadsides.

In the 12 months to June 2015 EAAA flew 1791 missions.

The purpose-built Egerton-Smith Centre is named after the Charity’s founder and President, Andrew Egerton-Smith MBE and provides work and rest space for the charity's 40 clinicians and 8 pilots, support staff and volunteers. It was built using funds raised by regional supporters.

William started work as an air ambulance pilot in March 2015, after passing his exams to fly HEMS missions.