The Prince of Wales has today, on the eve of St David’s Day, become Royal Patron of the Wales Air Ambulance charity.

The patronage has been announced ahead of a visit later this afternoon to the headquarters of the charity with The Princess of Wales and is the first Welsh patronage for The Prince since receiving the title of Prince of Wales.

The visit will see Their Royal Highnesses meet emergency workers, volunteers and supporters where they will learn more about the charity’s recent operations across Wales. The Prince and Princess will also have the opportunity to speak to emergency workers about the importance of prioritising their own mental health.

Their Royal Highnesses will also meet past patients and their families before officially opening a new Patient and Family Room that will be used by the Wales Air Ambulance Aftercare Service.

The charity, which was founded in 2001, has completed almost 45,000 missions and is on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Often described as a ‘Flying ED’, Wales Air Ambulance operates out of four airbases in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Welshpool and Cardiff.

The charity offers advanced critical care and can deliver blood transfusions, administer anesthesia and undertake emergency operations at the scene of an incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world.

Through his work as an air ambulance pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, His Royal Highness has seen first-hand the impact these first responders have upon the lives of patients with critical injuries. As Patron of the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, The Prince will continue his work championing the efforts of those working on the frontline and the importance of supporting their mental health.

Sue Barnes, Chief Executive of the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, said: “It is an immense honour for our charity to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as our Royal Patron. This announcement comes not just a day before St David’s Day but also the day before our charity celebrates its 22nd birthday.

“The Prince has first-hand experience of working in the unique and often challenging air ambulance environment. His work, along with The Princess, in highlighting the need for mental health support for frontline emergency workers is something that is appreciated and
wholeheartedly supported by our charity. We look forward to our new relationship with The Prince as our charity continues to support a lifesaving service for the people of Wales.”