The Queen visits Cambridge to open new East Anglian Air Ambulance base

PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 July 2016 | UPDATED: 15:55 27 July 2016

13 07 16 Queen visits East Anglian Air Ambulance EAAA to open their new HQ with Prince Phillip and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Picture: Keith Heppell

13 07 16 Queen visits East Anglian Air Ambulance EAAA to open their new HQ with Prince Phillip and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Picture: Keith Heppell

EAAA

The Queen and Prince Phillip were shown around the new air ambulance HQ by Prince William.

13 07 16 Queen visits East Anglian Air Ambulance EAAA to open their new HQ with Prince Phillip and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Picture: Keith Heppell13 07 16 Queen visits East Anglian Air Ambulance EAAA to open their new HQ with Prince Phillip and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Picture: Keith Heppell

The royal party were met by the Lord Lieutenant Sir Hugh Duberly and welcomed by a host of local dignitaries, including mayor of Cambridge Cllr Jeremy Benstead, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, Lady Duberly and High Sheriff Sir David Arculus.

The Duke of Cambridge, who has worked as a co-pilot at the charity since July last year, had just returned from a call-out earlier in the morning when he welcomed his grandmother the Queen with a kiss.

The Queen was at the base to open the new Egerton-Smith Centre, which she did with the unveiling of a plaque. She also met Andrew Egerton-Smith, founder of the charity, after whom the building is named,

The new base was funded by local supporters, and was built to provide much-needed space for work and rest for the charity’s clinicians, pilots, support staff and volunteers.

13 07 16 Queen visits East Anglian Air Ambulance EAAA to open their new HQ with Prince Phillip and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Picture: Keith Heppell13 07 16 Queen visits East Anglian Air Ambulance EAAA to open their new HQ with Prince Phillip and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Picture: Keith Heppell

The royal couple were given a tour of the base and the Duke of Cambridge showed them the H145 helicopter he flies for the charity.

Major General Sir William Cubitt, EAAA chairman, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh visited the EAAA base today formally to open the Egerton-Smith Centre. It has been a truly wonderful and memorable day and one that our staff, volunteers and patients will treasure.”

Two-year-old Pepe Casanova presented the Queen with a posy of traditional English flowers. Pepe became seriously ill in March 2014, suffering from multiple organ failure when he was just 5 months old.

When he lost consciousness at their home in Wymondham his parents, Ana and Mark Casanova, called 999 and the East Anglian Air Ambulance was deployed, saving Pepe’s life.

EAAA chief executive Patrick Peal said: “Our success depends as much on the huge support we get from volunteers and donors as it does on our dedicated staff; on this great occasion I would like to thank each and every one of them for all that they do.”

With a busy day ahead, the Queen left to meet David Cameron, and his successor as Prime Minister, Theresa May.

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