It's time for our favorite prince to hand in his wings. Prince William is leaving military service in the Royal Air Force. Just a couple days ago, he served his last shift as a search and rescue pilot. Will and Kate are getting ready to move to Kensington Palace, where he will resume his princely -- and fatherly -- duties. Can you believe it's been seven years? That's how long William served in the British military.
This marks a "transitional period" for the prince, according to royal officials. He is not a "full-time royal" quite yet, and that's probably a good thing. I can imagine that military service and royal-ing are quite different. But I bet military service was still great preparation for his next role.
In a documentary, Prince William described what military service meant to him:
There's no greater feeling than when you've actually done some good and saved someone's life. I don't think there's any greater calling in life ... to be able to see a son or daughter's face when you bring their mother or father back from the edge of death -- it's quite powerful.
Seven years is a fairly substantial amount of time, enough to give William a deep appreciation for what the military does. Even though the British monarchy is mostly symbolic and hardly governs at all, at this point, I think having the perspective of someone who has served in the military would be incredibly valuable for a future king. If nothing else, it's gotten him out of his extremely privileged bubble a bit.
I suppose the transition is happening partly because Will is second in line for the throne, so there's no hurry. His father appears to be in excellent health. But it's also convenient because Will himself is a new father, and there is no transitional period for fatherhood! There's just that very scary, sleepless first stage that probably felt a lot like boot camp for William. It's wise of him to step down from military service now that he's a dad. He needs to be home now as much as possible.
Prince William will also focus on charity work, especially in helping to conserve endangered species through the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Do you think Prince William's military service will make him more effective in his future royal duties?
Image via Pacific Coast News