After seven years' military service, the new dad will focus on royal duties and charity work

By Simon Perry
Updated September 12, 2013 07:50 AM
Credit: Landov

It’s a new chapter in the life of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

After more than seven years of military service, including a three-year posting in north Wales, Prince William is leaving the Royal Air Force and will now focus on his royal duties and charity work together with his wife, Kensington Palace has announced.

That will include life at Apartment 1a of Kensington Palace in London, where the new father and his family will move “within the next few weeks,” the palace said in a statement.

The statement, released to PEOPLE, adds, “He will continue to support the work of The Queen and the Royal Family through a program 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.”

In addition, William, 31, is “currently considering a number of options for public service.”

The next year will see William in “transition,” palace sources say, and will not necessarily see him carrying out royal duties full time. “He is going to be moving into the next phase of public life,” one tells PEOPLE.

The Ministry of Defense confirms that William’s last shift at RAF Valley, where he has been a search-and-rescue pilot since January 2010, was on Tuesday. In his time there, he has been involved in 156 search-and-rescue operations, resulting in 149 stricken people being pulled to safety.

Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he was called in the RAF, was given a send-off from his base and received gifts from his fellow fliers, and the engineering staff handed him a memento of his time at the controls – a plinth-mounted cyclic control stick top.

Squadron Leader Alex Brassington, who was William’s flight commander at C Flight, said in a statement that the prince was “a well-respected captain and junior officer.”