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Prince William reportedly tells his commanding officer he is leaving the RAF

28 APRIL 2013

Prince William has reportedly told his commanding officer that he is leaving his post as a search and rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force. The Duke of Cambridge's decision comes as he and wife Kate Middleton prepare to welcome their first child, due to be born in July.

The Sunday Times reported that Wiliam believes it is time to "move on" and quit his position in the summer. Leaving the job he loves won't have been an easy decision for the Prince, who recently said that there is "no greater feeling" than saving lives.

However, his impending fatherhood and the expectation to carry out more royal duties will have swayed the future King's choice.

 

Prince William

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Leaving his job at RAF Valley now means moving away from Anglesey, the peaceful Welsh island that William and Kate have called home since 2010.

The young royals rented a secluded farmhouse there, allowing William to travel back and forth to the nearby air base.

Their next permanent home will be Apartment 1A of Kensington Palace where the couple will move later this year. Kate, who is six months pregnant, has been busy sorting out decorating supplies for the 21-room apartment, according to reports.

While his wife prepares their nest, the Prince may now return to work with the Household Cavalry - the regiment he originally joined. It was there that William served with the Blues and Royals as a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit in 2006.

The military group works specifically for the royal family meaning William can continue his military career and also take on more official engagements. The switch is the perfect compromise between the pull of his royal destiny and his love of the Armed Forces.

 

Prince Wililam

 

It has already been announced that William will replace his grandfather Prince Philip as the president of Fields in Trust – a charity dedicated to providing free, outdoor spaces for sport and recreation. The Duke of Edinburgh held the post for 64 years and has now entrusted one of his most cherised patronages to his grandson.

It's the end of an era for the Duke of Cambridge, who made no secret of his professional passion. William – who was known as Flight Lieutenant Wales in the RAF – spoke openly about his job in the BBC documentary, Helicopter Rescue.

"I don't think there's any greater calling in life," he said. "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."

In November last year, the Palace released several behind-the-scenes pictures showing a typical 24-hour shift in Anglesey. The images showed the royal making his own cups of tea and preparing his bed each morning.

During his time in the RAF, Prince William saved various people at the helm of powerful Sea King helicopters.

It was a proud day when he earned his wings in 2012 after 20 months of training. William said he was "really delighted" to become a fully-fledged pilot.

"The course has been challenging but I have enjoyed it immensely," he added. "I absolutely love flying, so it will be an honour to serve operationally with the search and rescue force, helping to provide such a vital emergency service."

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