Prince Harry has a big announcement. After 10 years of serving in the British Armed Forces, the palace confirms to HELLO! that the royal will complete his final operational service in June. And though he is stopping his duty in the field, the royal will carry the experiences forward and plans a lifelong connection to the military.
"After a decade of service, moving on from the Army has been a really tough decision. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to do some very challenging jobs and have met many fantastic people in the process," the Prince explained in statement released by Kensington palace, confirming an earlier report by the London Evening Standard. "From learning the hard way to stay onside with my Color Sergeant at Sandhurst, to the incredible people I served with during two tours in Afghanistan — the experiences I have had over the last 10 years will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that I will always be hugely grateful."
Harry, who superiors have lauded for his service, continued: "Inevitably most good things come to an end and I am at a crossroads in my military career. Luckily for me, I will continue to wear the uniform and mix with fellow servicemen and women for the rest of my life, helping where I can, and making sure the next few Invictus Games are as amazing as the last."
During his years in uniform, the Prince has undertaken two operational tours of duty in Afghanistan, qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander and spearheaded the Invictus Games, something the military has honored. "Captain Harry Wales, as he is known affectionately in the Army, has achieved much in his ten years as a soldier," General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff, said in his ownstatement. "He has been at the forefront throughout his service. He has insisted on being treated the same as his peers." The general went on to commend Harry's bravery saying he was always "selflessly supporting those on the ground."
Prior to ending his military service, Prince William's younger brother will spend four weeks in April and May seconded to the Australian Defense Force where he will take part in a range of unit-based activities, training exercises and domestic deployments. "I am considering the options for the future and I am really excited about the possibilities," Harry stated. "Spending time with the Australian Defence Force will be incredible and I know I will learn a lot."
While down under, the royal will also complete an official tour of New Zealand in May before heading to Africa to spend his summer doing charity work. During his time in Africa, he will focus his time learning how local communities in sub-Saharan Africa are working to protect and conserve their natural resources and wildlife.
Upon returning to England, the 30-year-old royal's future holds more work with veterans. Harry added, "I am also looking forward to coming back to London this summer to continue working at the Personal Recovery Unit." In the fall, Prince Harry will volunteer with the Ministry of Defense's Recovery Capability Program, which helps injured servicemen and women, while preparing for a future undecided career.
"So while I am finishing one part of my life, I am getting straight into a new chapter," Harry said culminating his statement. "I am really looking forward to it."