London, May 7 : Prince William is said to be agonising over his future as a full-time search and rescue pilot – a job he adores– after he was told by RAF to choose between flying and his royal duties.
An aide to the Duke of Cambridge said he had until the end of year to meet the deadline laid down by RAF bosses. He is due to leave in 2013.
“The Duke has to make a decision during this year and he has not yet made a decision. Whatever decision he takes, he will take jointly with his wife,” the Mirror quoted his spokesman as saying.
The prince, known as Flight Lieutenant Wales by comrades, faces a busy summer of official duties.
“He can’t be a full-time royal and a full-time pilot at the same time. He’d have to scale back his royal duties to continue his current RAF role,” a source said.
Wills, 29, works a demanding shift pattern which means he has to stay on base at RAF Valley in Anglesey for almost a fortnight a month.
He is on duty for 24 hours at a time as well as being on standby at home between shifts.
Before he makes any decision about his future, Wills will consult with Prince Charles and the Queen about his royal workload over the next few years.
His choices include a switch to a non-flying role in the RAF, a transfer to the Army or Navy, or quitting the Forces altogether.
“Search and rescue has given the prince an exciting job without putting him on the front line. He adores flying but is bound to a shift timetable. If he moved to the Army, he could take on more official duties,” a source stated.
Wills and Kate are set to move into Kensington Palace next year – and starting a family is believed to be a priority.
They also have a busy summer ahead with the Diamond Jubilee, an overseas tour on behalf of the Queen in September plus the Olympics.
“William is thinking hard about his future. He loves the service, but there are other things to take into account. He and Catherine have a future and a family to plan and he will take on more official engagements,” the source added.