London: Prince William, the second-in-line
to the British throne, has reportedly indicated that he would
put his military service before royal duties.
The Duke of Cambridge, currently posted in the Falkland
Islands as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, was widely
expected to leave the British armed forces next year to become
a full-time working royal.
However, William has signalled that he will extend his
Royal Air Force service beyond next year, because he hopes to
start a family away from the spotlight of royal duties, 'The
Daily Telegraph' reported.
The Prince is understood to have decided to stay on
beyond mid-2013 when his current three-year tour of duty ends.
The move could allow the Duke, 29, and the Duchess
of Cambridge, 30, to begin to raise a family together in the
military, away from the spotlight of official royal life.
Having already served for six years, the choice of an extended
career in the Forces would break with recent royal tradition.
A senior royal aide said: "The Duke is very keen on his
flying, very good at it, and he wants to continue with his
military career. Should the Duke and Duchess choose to have
children within the next few years, he is keen to bring them
up as children of a serviceman for as long as possible.
"He is in no hurry to take up a more prominent role
within the Royal Family, and there is absolutely no pressure
from the Queen or anywhere within the royal household for him
to do so.
"The Duke is conscious of other members of the Royal
Family, including his grandfather, who gave up their military
careers to take up greater official responsibilities, but he
is not keen to do this if he doesn't need to. When the time
comes, down the line, he wants to be able to look servicemen
in the eye and say 'I did my time'."
First Published: Sunday, February 12, 2012, 20:56