Reports have emerged today which suggest that Prince Harry will leave the armed forces by the end of the year.
According to The London Evening Standard, he has taken the decision to end his active military career after having served two tours of duty on the front line in Afghanistan.
The Queen’s grandchild plans to put all of his focus on his charity work and wants to spend “a significant period abroad” on projects in Africa.
It is widely believed that Prince Harry will continue to focus on programmes to aid the rehabilitation of injured service personnel.
The Standard also reports that the 30 year-old will move to Australia for a period of time to serve with units there. He will also go to New Zealand, but not in a military capacity.
The Governor Generals of Australia and New Zealand are currently working on his programme and itinerary of events.
Kensington Palace have refused to comment on these reports, however, a spokesman said: “Prince Harry is currently focused on his work supporting the Ministry of Defence’s recovery capability programme to ensure those who are wounded, injured or sick have appropriate recovery plans and the necessary support they require.”
“It’s a natural progression from the work he did organising the Invictus Games. This involves working alongside case officers in London District’s personal recovery unit and visiting various recovery centres and partner agencies (such as forces charities and the NHS) around the country.”
Another source told The Standard: “The Prince thought long and hard about his decision to leave active military service but, having served his country on two tours of duty, he felt the time was right to leave. He has loved his time serving.
“Officials are still working on the precise timings but he will leave the military this year after serving Down Under. Before that he will travel to both countries and be based there and is very much looking forward to that.”
“The exact timings have not been finalised yet, but are expected to be announced officially very soon.”
“Harry just felt it was time for a new chapter in his life. One of his plans is to spend a significant period in Africa working on areas to do with conservation and wildlife.”
“He will also focus on his charities and maintain his interests in highlighting the plight of injured service staff.”
It is also understood that Harry will continue to represent The Queen on official duties and engagements.
The fourth-in-line to the throne joined the army in 2005 after graduating from Sandhurst. He has served twice on the front line after pleading to do so despite officials’ fears that he might be targeted by insurgents.
For security reasons, Harry was previously refused access to deploy to Iraq in 2007, but this decision was soon reversed, and in June 2007 he started preparing for a tour of duty of Afghanistan.
The Prince became the first member of the Royal Family to serve in a war zone since Prince Andrew flew helicopters during the Falklands War.
After some more training he served again in Afghanistan for just around four months at the end of 2012 and early 2013 as an Apache gunner.
In 2014 Prince Harry announced he was to quit flying Apaches for a desk job in the Army. His new responsibilities included helping to co-ordinate significant projects such as The Invictus Games.
Harry’s brother, Prince William, also left his full-time active armed forces job as an RAF Search and Rescue Pilot when he was Harry’s age.