Kate Middleton spent a lonely Valentine’s Day all by herself this year as Prince William was away on his Royal Air Force mission to the distant Falkland Islands. Now the RAF command is calling upon William to leave his Kate once again and she must be distraught. This news comes just when Duchess Kate and her prince are getting cosy and enjoying some romantic time alone – and possibly working on making a royal heir…
Now Prince William must consider his future with the RAF after being told he has until the end of the year to decide whether he wants to continue flying. William must decide whether he wants to continue his flying career as a fully qualified search and rescue helicopter pilot, transfer to another branch of the military, or simply leave the British Armed Forces altogether.
An aide to the prince confirmed that he has until the end of 2012 to decide. The spokesman said: ‘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 as you would expect.’
William, 29, is currently stationed at RAF Valley in Anglesey, in Wales, where he has been flying since January 2010.
The Prince, who has said that he ‘absolutely loves flying’ and the Duchess, 30, live on the island where they enjoy peace, anonymity and what William has described to friends as ‘normal lives’.
His decision will also take into account how much public work he and Kate are expected to take on over the next few years – so he will also consult his father and grandmother.
He could also extend his current tour of duty for a short period or take another posting within the Armed Forces, something he is said to be seriously considering.
The final option is for him to quit the Forces and focus full-time on the work of his charitable foundation and Royal duties.
One source said: ‘Search and rescue has given the Prince an exciting job without putting him on the front line – but he is bound to a shift timetable. There are advantages of him transferring to the Army – one being that he would likely be able to take on more official duties.’
‘William is thinking deep and hard about his future,’ adds the source. ‘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 be expected to take on more official engagements.’
The couple are due to move into their London family home at Kensington Palace next year, and both have spoken of their desire to start a family.
Their plans were put on hold this year while they carry out Diamond Jubilee engagements and an overseas tour on behalf of the Queen this September.
They will also have a busy summer working as ambassadors at the Olympics. If William does choose to quit the RAF it may come as a relief to the Duchess, who once admitted that she fears for her husband when he undertakes rescue missions.
During a walkabout in Canada last June, Kate told one member of the public: ‘I always worry when William goes off on a mission.
‘I find it very difficult. You always fear for them, not knowing if something is going to happen, and it can be very hard.’
In February the couple were separated for six weeks when William was deployed to the Falklands at a time of great political sensitivity.
What do you think William’s decision will be? On the one hand his dangerous and responsible position with the military sets a great example – showing that he is willing to risk his own life for his nation and his fellow man. But on the other hand, as William is likely to be the next monarch, there is much royal work for him to do for The Palace. He and Kate both enjoy great popularity the world over and having the prince away doing military duty is perhaps not the most efficient use of his time. Not to mention that Kate and her prince are a young couple who are very much in love…