Prince William‘s paternity leave was up yesterday, two weeks after his son was born at St. Mary’s Lindo Wing in London, England.
Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he is known in the Royal Air Force, will complete his operational tour up at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales at the end of this month. The Duke has been stationed there in the Search and Rescue Force since January 2009, qualifying as a co-pilot and then a captain in June 2012.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have lived in a rented farmhouse near the base since before their April 2011 wedding, a cohabitational first for any future monarch and his/her future consort.
On July 28th, the Daily Express published an exclusive on William’s decision to leave the Royal Air Force and rejoin the Blues and Royals, a calvary regiment of the British Army.
The Duke would, according to senior sources, rank as captain in the Household Cavalry’s Mounted Regiment, taking part in ceremonial parades, conducting soldier inspections before they go on duty, and completing “career reports” on troops in his squadron for the unit commander, according to the Express. It’s a job that would not require deployment (although this point is moot for William, who will never see action on the front lines, as he is second-in-line to the throne).
“As speculation goes it’s probably a pretty safe bet,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter told me about the report. “Although I don’t think William will be nearly as happy as he has been flying helicopters.”
Fortunately for the Mrs. and Prince George, William’s office would be in Hyde Park barracks in Knightsbridge, not too far from the Cambridge’s new digs at Kensington Palace.
The palace has yet to confirm what William’s plans are – continue with his military career or take on more royal duties -but a British Army source told the Express that plans are in place for the Duke to take on this new role.
“Our understanding is that he will finish with the RAF, have some leave that is due and then return to the Blues and Royals and serve with the Mounted Regiment, where he will take an appointment as second in command of a squadron,” the source said. “It is not a difficult role but it requires a lot of attention to detail.”
With Prince Philip, 92, still recovering from abdominal surgery (he’s due to take on an engagement in Scotland next week, according to the BBC) and the Queen, 87, decreasing her number of annual duties (though not abdicating), the logical choice is for William to take on more responsibilities as a senior royal.
On Wednesday, August 14th, the Duke will visit the Anglesey Show by his base in Wales. Kensington Palace confirms that William will watch gundog and falconry displays, as well as meeting with Young Farmers and view some cattle judging.
No word yet on whether the Duchess and their son will join William.