Prince William turns 29 on duty as RAF pilot

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Prince William spent his 29th birthday at work as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot on Tuesday, in a far cry from the pomp and ceremony that surrounded his marriage to Kate Middleton just weeks ago.

The son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana will be on duty at a RAF search and rescue base in Anglesey, north Wales, waiting for possible emergency call-outs, said Clarence House, his official residence.

William and his new wife are living near the base during his posting.

"Today is part of a normal working week for him at RAF Valley in Anglesey," a spokesman for Clarence House told AFP, confirming that there were no plans for any formal celebrations in coming days.

"He's quite busy with the trip to Canada and California coming up."

On June 30 William and Kate -- now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since they tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29 -- will embark on their first first foreign tour together.

He went back to work directly after the wedding for a week, before whisking Kate off to the Seychelles on a delayed honeymoon in an apparent attempt to avoid media attention.

The prince has taken part in around a dozen rescue missions since joining the squadron in September. They included rescuing someone who fell off a cliff and someone who suffered a suspected heart attack.

William's low-key birthday follows the example of his grandfather Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who spent his 90th birthday earlier this month doing charity work.

Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha are hosting a birthday lunch for Philip and the queen at 10 Downing Street later Tuesday in what will be a rare visit by the monarch to the premier's official residence.

© 2011 AFP

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