Prince William to Leave Military, Focus on Royal Duties and Charity Work

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Prince William is leaving the armed forces after more than seven years to focus on royal duties and charity work, Kensington Palace said Thursday.

William was a pilot with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force.

Known to his RAF comrades as Flight Lt. Wales, he had been stationed at a search-and-rescue base on the remote Welsh island of Anglesey since 2010.

He has lived there with Kate Middleton and now Prince George.

In the next few weeks, the family will move into their official residence at Kensington Palace, as William considers a "number of options" for public service.

For now, the 31-year-old will focus on his royal duties. He will also expand on his conservation work, dealing particularly with endangered species.

First off, Kensington Palace announced that the new father will become president of a newly formed collaboration among seven environmental groups.

United for Wildlife will focus on fighting the illegal wildlife trade. William will also focus on charities that deal with children, veterans and service members.

William's final search and rescue duty was Tuesday.

"He and his crew had an uneventful 24 hour shift," the defense ministry said. "He has earned the respect of all who have worked with him as a highly professional and competent pilot."

"Throughout his tour his airmanship, often in the most demanding of conditions, has contributed directly to saving lives in the mountains of North Wales and from the ravages of the Irish Sea."

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