It's not often we have access to private photos from the royal family when the release of which isn't immediately followed by an international scandal or a lawsuit (or both). But here comes valiant Prince William to the rescue, as Kate Middleton's husband has rolled out his own personal photo diary online, chronicling "A Working Day in the Life of Flight Lieutenant Wales."
So, you know, just another day at the office. That is, if you're a pilot whose office happens to be the inside of a Search and Rescue Royal Air Force Sea King helicopter, that is. And the photos of which result in an almost national security breach.
As it happens, the day in the life shots were a bit too candid, and in the first batch of photos that appeared online, included images of the prince sitting at a computer with a document laid down on the desk next to him. Another had a computer in the back of the shot, with a password prompt screen open. Granted, they weren't the focus of the frames, but they did inadvertently reveal some potentially sensitive information and were quickly removed, resulting in the site temporarily being downed.
"Due to an administrative oversigh, these photographs were not properly cleared at RAF Valley and the images showed unclassified MoD user names, passwords and computer screens on a restricted system," a Ministry of Defense spokesman said.
"The passwords and user names shown have now been reset as a precaution and we are satisfied the images do not contravene security regulations. All the photos have now been amended and reissued."
In any case, along with the reissued photos, which show Wills in various states of professionalism at his base at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, is a detailed account of how the duke spends his working days. And, it turns out, it's not all danger and excitement, as evidenced by the shots of William making his bed (in what is admittedly a rather stark room) and brewing some tea.
Future kings of England: They really are just like us!
According to the duke's website, the new relaunch of which served as the occasion for the photo sharing, the pictures were taken during one of the royal's 24-hour shifts, details of which were also shared.
Each morning begins with a debriefing from the off-going crew, after which the incoming pilots are to be at something called "Readiness State 15"—that is, they need to be ready to fly out within 15 minutes of receiving an SAR call. Each pilot, as well, is accountable for their own "kit," which means that the prince also has to regularly check the fuel, hydraulic and navigation systems of his 17-passenger capacity Sea King chopper.
And, of course, while waiting to respond to calls, the crew takes part in training exercises and some good old-fashioned downtime.
So what does the future monarch do on his time off?
Apparently computer games like Call of Duty are a big hit with the men and women in service, including the four-person crew with which Wills flies.
Huh. Guess they really are like us after all—and we'll see for sure tomorrow, when Kate's personal photos are set to be released online.