Prince William Quits the Military’s Royal Air Force

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It was announced by Buckingham Palace this morning that Prince William is leaving the Royal Air Force, according to The Daily Beast.

Read the full announcement below, provided by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall press:

His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge is to leave operational service in the Armed Forces.

He completes his Tour with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey, after more than seven-and-a-half years of full-time military service.

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

The Duke will work closely over the next twelve months with the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. He will expand his work in the field of conservation, particularly in respect of endangered species.

The Duke will continue to work with his charities on issues relating to children and young people, veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces. The Duke is currently considering a number of options for public service, a further announcement on which will follow in due course.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are expected to move into their official residence at Kensington Palace within the next few weeks.

Notes to Editors:

The Duke of Cambridge started his full-time military duties as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006. He commissioned into the Household Cavalry in December 2006. He became a Lieutenant in The Blues and Royals before transferring his commission to the Royal Air Force.
The Duke started training to become a Search and Rescue pilot in January 2009. His previous training included Basic and Advanced Flying training on the Squirrel helicopter at RAF Shawbury before embarking on the Multi Engine Advanced Rotary Wing course (MEARW) training on the Griffin and Squirrel helicopters, which also included some introductory specialist training on the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley.
The Duke has been based at RAF Valley since January 2010, where as Flight Lieutenant Wales he has served as a fully operational Search and Rescue pilot flying the Sea King helicopter.
In this time, he has undertaken a total of 156 search and rescue operations, resulting in 149 people being rescued. Since joining the Royal Air Force, The Duke has completed over 1,300 flying hours.
He also served on attachment to the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, before training to become a full-time pilot with the RAF Search and Rescue Force.

Prince William has rescued 149 people during 156 missions over the course of his military career. His flight commander Squadron Leader Alex Brassington described William as “a well-respected captain and junior officer.” He will be missed.

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As People reports, Prince William will be focusing more on royal duties and charity work with his wife and son. Soon he will be moving into Apartment 1a of Kensington Palace. People also states:

The Ministry of Defense confirms that William’s last shift at RAF Valley, where he has been a search-and-rescue pilot since January 2010, was on Tuesday … Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he was called in the RAF, was given a send-off from his base and received gifts from his fellow fliers, and the engineering staff handed him a memento of his time at the controls – a plinth-mounted cyclic control stick top.

Below you can find another statement released about the Duke of Cambridge’s plans to focus on the field of conservation:

The Duke of Cambridge is currently involved in a number of initiatives to expand his work in the field of conservation, particularly in respect of protecting endangered species and habitats.

Through his Foundation, His Royal Highness has brought together an unprecedented collaboration between seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations and the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The partnership, named “United for Wildlife”, is a long-term commitment to tackle the global challenges to the world’s natural resources so they can be safeguarded for future generations.

The Duke will be President of the collaboration. United for Wildlife will bring together some of the world’s largest environmental organisations and harness the resources and expertise of global leaders in business, communications, technology and the creative industries to tackle a common, universal challenge.

The alliance aims to lead the way in delivering effective responses to, and raising awareness of, conservation crises. It will also focus particularly on engaging and inspiring young people and the next generation of conservation leaders.

The collaboration’s initial work will focus on the illegal wildlife trade. United for Wildlife will use digital media platforms to highlight research results and subsequent successful conservation projects in this area, to engage new conservationists the world over.

The United for Wildlife social media platforms will be launched later this year but further information can initially be found at

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge, 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.”

As part of his increased work in this field, The Duke of Cambridge has also joined David Beckham and Yao Ming on behalf of WildAid to film two public service announcements on illegal wildlife products.

The messages, recorded in London today, 12th September, focus on reducing demand for rhino horn and ivory and will air globally, with targeted outreach in China and Vietnam, later this year as part of WildAid’s demand reduction campaign.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will tonight attend the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards at the Royal Society in London. As Patron of the charity, The Duke will present two awards, which recognise outstanding achievement in the field of African Conservation.

Notes to Editors

The seven conservation organisations partnering the Royal Foundation for United for Wildlife are: Conservation International; Fauna & Flora International; the International Union for Conservation of Nature; The Nature Conservancy; Wildlife Conservation Society; WWF-UK; and the Zoological Society of London.
For more information about the WildAid public service announcements, please visit
For more information about Tusk Trust and the Tusk Conservation Awards, please visit