Prince William to swap armed forces for royal duties

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge The royal couple attended the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards in London on Thursday

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Prince William is to leave the military after more than seven years of service, Kensington Palace has announced.

The Duke of Cambridge completed his final shift as an RAF search and rescue pilot on Tuesday.

He will now focus on royal duties and charity work together with the Duchess of Cambridge, a palace spokesman said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are expected to move from their Anglesey home to Kensington Palace within the next few weeks.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt tweeted that royal officials said the next 12 months would be "transitional" for Prince William. He will not become a "full time royal" at this stage, they said.

Conservation work

The duke, with the Duchess of Cambridge, will continue to support the work of the Queen and the Royal Family through a programme of official engagements - both at home and overseas, the palace added.

He plans to expand his work in the field of conservation, particularly in respect of endangered species, through the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Prince William, a cautious royal, has bought himself some more time.

He's second in line to the throne, not the heir, and he's in no rush to become what he once called a "royal ornament".

So, with his military career at an end, the talk is of this being a period of transition and not the moment when William becomes a full time royal.

He's keen to take on what's being called "public service". Other Windsors have tried to escape their inherited straitjacket.

Past plans which never saw the light of day have included Prince Philip working down a mine and Prince Charles working in a factory, becoming Governor General of Australia or Ambassador to France.

But as William adjusts to family life - and life away from the RAF - he knows he has now taken one more "Prince George" sized baby step towards embracing his destiny.

The foundation has partnered with seven of the world's most influential conservation organisations under United for Wildlife, a long-term commitment to preserve the world's natural resources.

Prince William said: "The threats to our natural heritage are extensive, but I believe that this collaboration of the best minds in conservation will provide the impetus for a renewed commitment and action to protect endangered species and habitats for future generations.

"At the root of the illegal wildlife trade, for example, is the demand for products that require the deaths of tens of thousands of these animals every year, pushing them further towards extinction.

"We must work together to prevent this catastrophe and allow our children the opportunity to experience wildlife in its many beautiful and varied forms."

The duke recorded two public messages in London on Thursday focusing on reducing demand for rhino horn and ivory. They will air globally later this year.

The duke and duchess attended the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards at the Royal Society in London on Thursday evening.

In a speech to guests, Prince William started by joking about spending his first night away from baby son Prince George.

"As you might have gathered, Catherine and I have recently become proud parents - of a baby who has a voice to match any lion's roar," he said.

"This is actually our first evening out without him, so please excuse us if you see us nervously casting cheeky glances at our mobile phones to check all is well back home.

The duke continued: "Like any new parents, our thoughts inevitably turn to the world that our child will inherit.

"It is unfathomable to imagine a world in which children who have been born in the past couple of months may grow up in a world in which rhinoceros have ceased to exist in the wild."

'Immensely special'

The palace said the duke was considering a number of options for public service and will make a further announcement in due course.

Tuesday's final RAF shift brought to an end a three-year posting on Anglesey for the prince.

Kensington Palace Kensington Palace has undergone renovations ahead of the family's arrival

In an interview for the BBC Wales documentary Helicopter Rescue, he said: "There's no greater feeling than when you've actually done some good and saved someone's life.

"I don't think there's any greater calling in life... to be able to see a son or daughter's face when you bring their mother or father back from the edge of death - it's quite powerful."

The head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, praised the duke's work in the air force.

Sir Andrew said Flight Lieutenant Wales had been an "integral" part of the RAF's search and rescue force, "often in the most demanding of conditions, [he] has contributed directly to saving lives in the mountains of North Wales and from the ravages of the Irish Sea.

He added: "He has earned the respect of all who have worked with him as a highly professional and competent pilot."

In a speech at the Anglesey Show in August, the duke thanked the island's people for being so welcoming to him and his wife.

Flight Lieutenant Wales

  • 1,301 total flying hours with the RAF
  • 3 years in search and rescue
  • 156 operations
  • 149 people rescued

"I know that I speak for Catherine when I say that I have never in my life known somewhere as beautiful and as welcoming as Anglesey," he said.

"I know that both of us will miss it terribly when my search and rescue tour of duty comes to an end next month and we have to move elsewhere.

"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making my wife and me so welcome when we arrived here, as you do thousands of visitors each year."

He said the island had been their first home together and would always be an "immensely special place for us both".

Though their main home will be the newly refurbished Kensington Palace, the royal couple are also expected to take up their country retreat Anmer Hall on the Queen's private Sandringham estate in Norfolk later this year.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 967.

    The louve is beautiful but it lacks that ability to convey a lived in picture has you go around of the life lived there,whilst the lived in Buckingham Palace brings to life the past & present
    Now you can go to any brothel to get the feeling & history given of at No10/11

  • rate this

    Comment number 966.

    CANTON BOY AND FERRARIMAN I couldn't wait all evening for you two to compose a barbed Wildean riposte to my entries so with that I bid you both Adieu and CANTON you really have to learn to calm down old son, bad for the blood pressure and all that, FERRARIMAN my telly has been on the blink lately, just a thought when you've finished with the spark plugs could you maybe pop over and have a look.

  • rate this

    Comment number 965.

    Aren't left wingers very dull people? It must be so miserable living a envious life. In the meantime, good luck young man, thanks for the SAR work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 964.

    EmersonV; your comments apply equally as well to the royals, if Charles is so popular let him stand for election

  • Comment number 963.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 962.

    The duke - duchess are a wonderful couple, the difference between monarchy and those who thrive on swallowing the savings of ordinary citizens, the former have some grace and are not pick pockets. Any one would prefer the household of the Queen over the manipulators of Wall Street and the Monarchs in Italy and Middle East or the Juntas in Burma and South America. Respect the Prince, let's think.

  • rate this

    Comment number 961.

    'They family is expected to move from their Anglesey home in the next few weeks'

    Well, isn't life simply wonderful. Please, where is the sick bag.

  • rate this

    Comment number 960.

    There is ZERO data to support the claim that the royals are net income producers for the UK. They are irrelevant to tourism revenues and there is no evidence that all the royal events of recent years have impacted incoming tourism at all. Who goes anywhere to see royals or other bigwigs? Who goes to Spain or Belgium to see their Kings? Do you go to the Gulf to see Sheiks?

  • Comment number 959.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 958.

    I wish I could have packed my job up when I had my family......

  • rate this

    Comment number 957.

    Couldn't handle a real job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 956.

    Another Hys for the left wing ranters.......

  • rate this

    Comment number 955.

    I would like to wish the happy HRH family the very best, I hope that they remember the days in Wales with the fondest of memories, perhaps they could buy a home in here to give them a place to call home separate from the royal house's, to allow them the peace and quiet that the three of them deserve. Thank you future Prince of Wales for your hard life saving work god bless you and your new family

  • rate this

    Comment number 954.

    These are the real scroungers in our society!

    The article also neglects to mention that he owes the tax payer £400,000, but whatever...

  • rate this

    Comment number 953.


    Seems you have the right to criticise, even get voted into Parliament and stand for PM if you had enough support then you could bring in the laws you want.

    The trouble is doubt if you would gander enough support to fit in phone box.

    The Royals bring in more money to this country than they earn, what have you done apart from support a Pub Team.

  • rate this

    Comment number 952.

    941 William mohan

    Well just so you know the skills I learned in the RAF by going through selection, going through Halton and Cosford has let me get a very well paid job on civvie street. So I wouldn't insult the mess staff too much because once you are out of the army you are likely to be one of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 951.

    I really don't give a monkeys about Prince Billy.
    What about all the military being made redundant by this omnishambles shower now that is more of a concern.

  • rate this

    Comment number 950.

    The only thing he can do is to conduct himself as well as he is able

    No, he could do something other than that.

    He could abdicate (or whatever the correct term is) his position within the royal family and live as an ordinary person (as could the entire family).

    But of course, that'd never happen, because he'd lose the privileges and money he and his ilk enjoy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 949.

    Some people don't care, some people love the Monarchy, some people don't.

    No one will change their opinion based on a pithy comment of 400 characters or less.

    It would be more fun to put us all in a big field and keep fighting each other till there is one person left.

    Or we could just have a referendum.

  • rate this

    Comment number 948.

    I would like him and his wife earn their income whatever they do and support their own family as most of us have to .'Supporting the queen' is not a job!? Doing what? The 'envy' argument is a bit pathetic and worn out - no one in their right mind would envy these people their strange live full of fakery - I am proud of earning my keep doing a real job. At least he was, but now -another celebrity


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