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Prince William leaves military to focus on royal duties

London, Sep 13 (): Kensington Palace said Thursday after over seven years of service, Prince William has completed his duty as a Royal Air Force (RAF) search and rescue pilot and left the military to focus on royal duties and charity work.

The palace added, 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 Duke of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, completed his final shift as an RAF search and rescue pilot on Tuesday, ending his three-year posting on Anglesey. The Duke, who is 31, has an active military career which is a traditional service of passage for senior royals. The military career lasted more than seven years, first in the Army and then in the Royal Air Force.

Kensington Palace said William had participated in 156 search-and-rescue operations, helping to rescue 149 people. He has completed more than 1,300 flying hours. The head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, praised the Duke’s work in the air force.

The Prince has finished his duty as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot and has decided not to transfer to any other branch of the forces. Now, he will be able to focus on supporting the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh by taking on a larger number of royal engagements.

The Duke is currently considering a number of options for public service, a further announcement on which will follow in due course.

William and wife Kate along with their new-born son Prince George are due to move into their official renovated residence at London’s Kensington Palace in the next few weeks.

William’s younger brother, Prince Harry remains active in the military, and has served in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot.