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Prince Harry to take up British army desk job

LONDON -- Britain's Prince Harry is to leave his job as an Apache helicopter pilot and take a desk job in London organizing major ceremonial events involving the army, Kensington Palace said in a statement Friday.

The 29-year-old prince, who has served twice in Afghanistan and is known as Captain Wales in the army, will become a staff officer at Horse Guards offices in London, the palace said.

Harry had reached "the pinnacle of flying excellence as an Apache pilot," said Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue, who commanded Prince Harry in the Army Air Corps.

"In the process, (he) has proved to be a real inspiration to the many Army Air Corps officers and soldiers who have come to know him so well over the last two years," he continued.

Harry, who joined the army in 2005, began training to be a helicopter pilot in 2009. On returning from a mission to Afghanistan in January last year, he said he had killed Taliban insurgents.

His new job will involve planning ceremonies like Trooping the Colour, which marks his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, and state visits.

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