Prince William springs school surprise

Prince William joins Stevenage school pupils for lunch

Prince William at John Henry Newman School

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John Henry Newman School

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The Duke of Cambridge surprised pupils by dining with them in their canteen

The Duke of Cambridge made a surprise stop at a school for a chicken dinner as he took a break from a helicopter flying mission in Hertfordshire.

Prince William flew in to the playing field at John Henry Newman School in Stevenage, after transporting doctors from nearby Lister Hospital, for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

While there he spoke to a number of pupils in the school canteen.

Head teacher Clive Matthew said the visit was "completely unexpected".

Media captionThe duke surprised pupils after landing on their school field

"It was really quite bizarre. We have the air ambulance use the school site quite regularly and whenever they land the staff go out, we clear the field of children and offer the crew refreshments," he said.

"We didn't realise who was on the helicopter at the time. And then Prince William jumped off and came into the school.

"He was great. He queued up with the children, he got himself some lunch and sat down. Then he was surrounded by a group of Year 11 boys who had a chat with him – it was really lovely."

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    Mr Matthew said the duke, who has been a pilot for the charity since last summer, ate roast chicken, cauliflower cheese and vegetables, but did not have dessert.

    He said the prince donated the cost of the meal to the school's children's charity.

    "One of the boys sat opposite the prince and was shaking so much he nearly lost the pasta off the end of his fork," said Mr Matthew.

    "[William] did compliment the meal, saying it was very good."

    The Duke of Cambridge has been spotted on a number of missions for the air ambulance, including when he was sent to help a young girl hit by a car in Bedfordshire last September.

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