WILLIAM, Prince of Wales has today (July 9) paid a visit to the North Wales RAF base he previously served at.

The Prince returned to the site for the first time since taking on the role from His Majesty The King in August last year.

His Royal Highness previously spent three years stationed at RAF Valley on Anglesey whilst serving as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot between 2010 and 2013.

Today, he returned to what is the only Royal Air Force station in Wales and the second largest employer on the Isle of Anglesey.

The first stop of the day, on a grey and gloomy day in Ynys Mon, saw the Prince visit the Air Traffic Control Tower, where he toured the control rooms and heard from staff about new surveillance equipment.

While there, he also learnt more about the £44m project which is currently underway to refurbish RAF Valley’s second runway and heard how the base has managed to maintain its operations while working on such a significant project is ongoing.

At the base’s Fire and Rescue Section, The Prince met crew members and even took part in a simulated fire response exercise, which saw him extinguish a burning jet while sat in the passenger seat of a fire engine.

The Fire and Rescue Section provides year-round airfield rescue firefighting and structural firefighting cover for RAF Valley, whilst also delivering further support at the station’s relief landing ground, RAF Mona.

His Royal Highness then joined engineers, Qualified Flying Instructors, and trainees in their crew room.

It was there he was re-united with former flying instructor Captain Brian Wills, who said the prince had stayed in touch, even sending a bottle of whisky and a birthday card when the captain turned 50.

Awarded annually, The Prince of Wales Award recognises the best Qualified Flying Instructor within the No. 4 Flying Training School.

(Image: PA) PIC: Jake Fleming receives the Prince of Wales award.

RAF Valley is also home to the headquarters of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) which is on- call 365 days a year to provide Search and Rescue support, Aircraft Post Crash and Incident Management, and medical aid in the mountains.

The Prince met with some of the response team to hear more about their experiences of providing vital, life-saving support to the local area.

In 2023, the MRS were called out 25 times, often operating in the most testing weather conditions including near zero-visibility.

The day was capped off when the Prince met the families of RAF Valley personnel, who waved him off as they held up their Welsh flags.

Rita Millan, who has worked in the Thrift Shop on the base for 20 years, said she had welcomed him back.

She said: “We used to see him all the time time passing in his car and he used to wave.

“He said he loved coming back to visit us.

“I said to him I hope Catherine is on the mend and we’re praying for her and to send her our love. He said he would tell her.”

Her colleague Denise Stock added: “He said he misses it here.”

Click on the gallery above to see more pictures from the Prince’s visit to Anglesey.