Britain's Prince William to become a full-time royal

Prince William (above) is to give up his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot.
Prince William (above) is to give up his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's Prince William is to give up his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot to focus on carrying out official duties on behalf of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth full-time, his office said on Friday (Jan 20).

William, 34, the second-in-line to the throne, will also base his family in London rather than their current home in Norfolk, eastern England.

"Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my royal work for decades to come," William said in a statement.

He served in Britain's armed forces from 2006 until 2013, working latterly as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. He then launched a new career as an air ambulance helicopter pilot with the East Anglia Air Ambulance near his home.

His office said in a statement the prince would leave his job in the summer and move his wife Kate and children George, 3, and Charlotte, 1, from Anmer Hall, their country mansion on the queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, to Kensington Palace, their official London residence.

"As they have in recent years, their royal highnesses are keen to continue to increase their official work on behalf of the queen and for the charities and causes they support, which will require greater time spent in London," the statement said.

"Prince George will begin school in London in September and Princess Charlotte will also go to nursery and eventually school in London as well."

The queen, who turned 90 last year, has cut down the number of official engagements she carries out and announced before Christmas that she would step down as patron of a number of organisations.

Those duties are being passed on to son and heir Prince Charles and other members of the royal family.