Thursday 22 February 2018

William quits military to head up wildlife charity

Gordon Rayner in London

Britain's Prince William has quit his full-time career in the British Armed Forces. The 31-year-old will now be able to concentrate on supporting Queen Elizabeth by taking on a much larger number of royal engagements.

Aides insisted he will not yet become a full-time working member of the royal family. They said the next 12 months will be a "transitional year" for him in which he will decide what he wants to do next.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said: "He is currently considering a number of options for public service, a further announcement on which will follow in due course.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are expected to move into their official residence at Kensington Palace within the next few weeks."

Influential Palace insiders did not expand on what his "public service" role might be, but he would not be the first member of the Royal family to take on a "day job".

His uncle, the Duke of York, worked as the UK's trade ambassador after he left the forces, until a series of scandals over his questionable business contacts forced him to quit the role in 2011.

One possibility appears to be that the prince will carve out a role as a conservation tsar, given the emphasis on his work with endangered species in the palace announcement.

On the day Prince William announced he was quitting, he revealed that he has created a partnership called United for Wildlife, which brings together seven of the world's most influential conservation organisations, as well as The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. At a gala night to launch the new body the prince joked about spending his first night away from baby son Prince George. "This is actually our first evening out without him, so please excuse us if you see us nervously casting cheeky glances at our mobile phones."

"Like any new parents, our thoughts inevitably turn to the world that our child will inherit. It is unfathomable to imagine a world in which children who have been born in the past couple of months may grow up in a world in which rhinoceros have ceased to exist in the wild."

The wildlife body will initially focus on the illegal wildlife trade, and is likely to take up a large slice of his time after he announced that his seven-year operational career in the forces was at an end. The prince will be president of the new organisation. Earlier yesterday, he was joined by footballer David Beckham to record a video for the animal charity WildAid.

The videos are aimed at the Far East, which has the biggest market for banned wildlife products such as rhino horn and ivory, and will be released later this year. An estimated 25,000 elephants are killed every year by poachers. agreed to help get this message out. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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