Prince Harry makes 'tough decision' to leave army

Prince Harry is set to leave the armed forces in June. The British royal was previously rumoured to be making an exit after ten years of full-time military service, but on Tuesday Harry himself released a statement explaining his decision.

Making the "tough" choice, Harry reflected on the past decade, which saw the 30-year-old serve two tours in Afghanistan, qualify as an Apache Aircraft Commander and launch the Paralympic-style Invictus Games.

"After a decade of service, moving on from the army has been a really tough decision," said Harry. "I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to do some very challenging jobs and have met many fantastic people in the process."


Prince Harry said that "inevitably most good things come to an end"

He added: "From learning the hard way to stay onside with my Colour Sergeant at Sandhurst, to the incredible people I served with during two tours in Afghanistanthe experiences I have had over the last ten years will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that I will always be hugely grateful.

"Inevitably most good things come to an end and I am at a crossroads in my military career. Luckily for me, I will continue to wear the uniform and mix with fellow servicemen and women for the rest of my life, helping where I can, and making sure the next few Invictus Games are as amazing as the last."

Princes Charles and Harry will travel to Turkey at the end of April to attend the the Gallipoli commemorations

Before Harry leaves for good, he will spend four weeks in April and May seconded to the Australian Defence Force. The Prince is expected to spend time at army barracks in Darwin, Perth and Sydney where he will take part in a range of unit-based activities, training exercises and domestic deployments.

"Secondments between our two armies are routine practice," said Mark Binskin, chief of the Australian Defence Forces, before adding that Harry's embed with the Australian Army is "an extension of his regular British Army duties."

During his secondment, the royal – who is known as Captain Harry Wales in the army – will also accompany his father Prince Charles to the Gallipoli commemorations in Turkey on 24 and 25 April, travelling from Australia.

Following his stint Down Under, Harry will undertake an official tour to New Zealand, a country he has never visited, at the invitation of New Zealand's government.

Prince Harry, pictured previously in Australia, will carry out a secondment Down Under followed by a royal tour of New Zealand

Given his interest in conservation and wildlife, Harry will also spend a period of summer carrying out voluntary work alongside field-based conservation experts in Africa. He will learn how local communities in sub-Saharan Africa are working to protect and conserve their natural resources and wildlife.

The Prince, who is "really looking forward" to the next chapter in his life, will return to London in the autumn where he will continue working with the Personal Recovery Unit, a role he is currently attached to. He will also volunteer with the Ministry of Defence's Recovery Capability Programme, while thinking about his longer-term career opportunities.

With his busy schedule of work planned out, Harry won't abandon his official royal engagements and will keep supporting his grandmother the Queen and the rest of the royal family in their duties. On top of this, he also has his charity commitments to stick to.