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HRH The Duke of Cambridge to leave operational service in the Armed Forces

Published on 12th September 2013

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.