Prince Andrew returns to UK public life
Britain’s Prince Andrew made his first UK public appearance since being embroiled in a sex scandal yesterday (29.01.15).
The 54-year-old royal – who has been accused of having sex with Virgina Roberts three times when she was just 17 – attended a naval parade at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset and says the ceremony, which saw four helicopter pilots given their wings, brought back memories of his own stint in the Navy over 20 years ago.
Andrew – who flew Lynxes and Sea Kings when he served as a Royal Navy pilot – said: “Just being here today at one of these very, very important ceremonies in the life of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm brought back memories to me when I was stood where these young people were a long time ago.
“I don’t think people really realise the amount of hard work and the amount of time those who have received their wings today have actually put in.”
Lt Danielle Welch, 30, became the first woman to become a Royal Navy “ab-initio” Lynx helicopter pilot – meaning she did all her training on the same aircraft – and will be the last as the fleet will be replaced in 2017 and is very proud of her achievement.
She said: “My family and friends are all very proud.
“This is something I have been trying to achieve for most of my life and when I found out I had been selected it was brilliant.
“The course is tough. We started the Lynx course with six and we’ve ended with four. Previous courses have a similar attrition rate.
“Not everyone gets through but to achieve it is brilliant.”