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Prince William leaves armed forces

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Britain's Prince William has completed his tour as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot and left the armed forces, the royal family said Thursday.

The second-in-line to the British throne, who became a father in July, carried out his last shift on Tuesday after more than seven years in the military and will now work towards expanding his royal duties and charity work.

William, 31, is in a "transitional" year, sources have said, and is considering options for his "public service". An announcement will be made about his decision within the next 12 months.

Kensington Palace said in a statement: "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 12 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."

William will continue to work with charities dealing with children and military veterans, the palace said.

The prince and his wife Catherine have spoken of how much they have enjoyed living near the RAF base in North Wales.

The press has largely left them alone in Wales, apart from the occasional photograph of the former Kate Middleton shopping in the local supermarket.

The couple and their son George are expected to move into refurbished apartments at Kensington Palace within weeks.

William's brother Harry remains in the military.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130912/prince-william-leaves-armed-forces