Prince William
Prince William has made a surprise visit to meet with MI6 spies in the Secret Intelligence Service. The Duke of Cambridge is pictured on a train to Cardiff on June 11
Prince William has made a surprise visit to meet with spies at the Secret Intelligence Service.

The Prince of Wales met with the officials at the foreign intelligence service, also known as MI6, which deals with and protects the UK from risks abroad, on Thursday afternoon.

The visit was not publicised in advance and only appeared afterwards in the Court Circular, the daily list of official royal engagements, which is published the next day.

The entry in the Court Circular read simply 'The Prince of Wales this afternoon visited the Secret Intelligence Service' with no location or additional details given.

MI6 Secret Intelligence
A general view of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Building on the bank of the Thames
It is not known whether the prince met MI6 boss Sir Richard Moore, codenamed 'C', or what was discussed during the engagement.

Kensington Palace declined to provide further information on the visit.

William, as the Duke of Cambridge, made a similar visit in 2022, just hours before Vladimir Putin launched a full invasion of Ukraine.

Comment: This was also the day prior to Princess Catherine's confirmation that she will attend Trooping the Colour, tomorrow.

Notably all of this also occurs just a month or so after Prince Harry's visit to the UK where he made a speech at the Sol Invictus games, and amidst a rumoured meeting to happen with King Charles; who, allegedly, finally declined to meet with him. Prince Harry's visit occurred shortly after the furore around Princess Catherine's extended absence from the public eye, the inconsistent explanations from the palace press office, as well as the photoshopped image scandal.

Again, the meeting was not publicised until the day after the meeting on February 24 although it was thought to have been long-planned.

It is not known whether the threat of war in Ukraine was discussed during the prince's visit to the headquarters.

The Duke also went to the MI6 headquarters in London with the now-Princess of Wales in 2012.

In 2019, he also spent three weeks working with MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to learn how the UK's security and intelligence agencies work.

'These agencies are full of people from everyday backgrounds doing the most extraordinary work to keep us safe,' he said at the time.

'They work in secret, often not even able to tell their family and friends about the work they do or the stresses they face.'

In March, MI6 launched a recruitment drive to hire more spies from black and Asian backgrounds.

The first black spy to give a live broadcast interview told BBC Radio 1Xtra that working for MI6 was more exciting than James Bond - the fictional MI6 spy who serves king and country.