LONDON: Britain's Prince William has officially qualified as an air ambulance pilot after clearing a series of exams.
The second-in-line to the British throne began studying for his air transport pilot licence in September, 2014 and has now passed all 14 exams to work as a civilian helicopter pilot.
The 32-year-old Duke of Cambridge will begin more training as part of his 40,000-pounds-a-year role next month when he returns from his week-long royal tour of Japan and China which kicked off today.
The future king will, however, be donating his pilot's salary to charity.
He will fly emergency helicopters for the East Anglian Air Ambulance for at least two years and will formally be employed by Bond Air Services.
He passed aviation exams ranging from meteorology to air law and will complete another period of mandatory training, involving aircraft training, in-flight skills testing and further written exams.
The prince is expected to begin day-to-day pilot work in the coming months.
The royal, who is expecting his second child with wife Kate, hopes to work nearly full time once he takes on his new role.
Meanwhile, William will spend the next six days highlighting British links with Japan and China and address issues such as innovation, trade and creativity on his first trip to both countries.
His visit will be the most high-profile royal visit to China since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and grandfather Prince Philip toured the country in 1986.