The Duke of Cambridge has signalled that he will extend his RAF service beyond next year, because he hopes to start a family away from the spotlight of royal duties. The Duke appears to be relishing his latest posting to the Falkland Islands as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, but was widely expected to leave the Armed Forces next year to become a full-time working royal.
Now, however, he has signalled that he will extend his RAF career and start a family as a serviceman.
Revealing family plans: Prince William will extend his RAF service beyond next year, because he hopes to start a family away from the spotlight of royal duties. File pic
The second in line to the throne 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 to begin to raise a family together in the military, away from the spotlight of official royal life.
Break away 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'," added the aide.
Mr Popular The Duke's decision comes despite a surge in popularity following his wedding last year, which is set to continue with appearances at celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.