Family comes first: William to walk away from job he loves


William is expected to leave his Air Ambulance role mid-year, when he and Kate move their family to London.
William is expected to leave his Air Ambulance role mid-year, when he and Kate move their family to London.
With George about to start school and the Queen handing over royal duties, William has to make a career move

Prince William is expected to give up his career as an Air Ambulance pilot to become a full-time royal.

However, it has been suggested he will not take on more work than his 68-year-old father, Prince Charles, as he does not want to be seen as “elbowing his father out of the way”.

William and Kate are set to move from Anmer Hall, on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, to Kensington Palace in September as Prince George starts school in London.

William, 34, is said to be keen to spend more time on causes that are important to him, including tackling homelessness and raising awareness about mental health issues.

But he does not want to overshadow Charles’ role as heir to the throne.

That ever-reliable source of quotes about the royals to the UK media, “A Friend”, said: “Some people may question why William still won’t do as much as Princess Anne but he is dead set on not queering his father’s pitch.

“He sees that Charles will probably be in his seventies before he becomes king and he doesn’t want to be seen as elbowing his father out of the way.”

William’s move towards becoming a full-time royal comes as the Queen hands over some of her duties to younger members of the royal family.

The 90-year-old will be stepping down as patron of more than 20 national organisations in April, it was announced last month.

There were also concerns about her health when she missed Christmas and New Year church services at Sandringham due to what Buckingham Palace called a heavy cold.

A royal source said there was “no pressure from above” for William to increase his royal duties, adding: “He has always been a lot less reluctant than people think to take on more work.”

He has faced criticism for his apparent reluctance to throw himself into royal duties and was accused by some of being “workshy”.

Last year he spent 80 days on official engagements, while Kate, 35 last week, had visits and meetings on 63 days.

Prince Philip, 95, carried out official meetings and visits on 110 days. Charles spent 139 days on public engagements.

The Queen undertook official engagements on 80 days of the year, while Anne had the busiest calendar with 179 days of engagements.

William responded to criticism last April by insisting that he takes his royal duties “very seriously”, adding that he would be the “first person” to accept more responsibilities when the Queen decided it was time.

He began his job as a part-time pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service in 2015 and has spoken of his enjoyment of the role.

His piloting contract ends in March but it is thought that he may continue to work for the service until mid-year.

William and Kate are reportedly hoping to expand their own Royal Foundation charity and want to focus more on causes like mental health.

The couple, with Prince Harry, have openly lent their support to the helping people battle mental health issues and launched the Heads Together campaign last year.

Three-year-old George is believed to be on the list for the $A31,550 / $NZ33,250-a-year Wetherby Pre-Prep School attended by his father.

Kensington Palace declined to comment.


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