Prince William to give up his day job?
By MARIA PUENTE | USA Today | Published: March 28, 2013
Prince William may be giving up his helicopter-pilot day job.
US Weekly is citing an anonymous British military source to report today that William is chucking his job as a Sea King search-and-rescue pilot for the RAF in Wales.
The magazine quoted an "insider" as saying William would hang up his flight suit this summer.
Coincidentally, this news, which has not been confirmed by either the palace nor the Ministry of Defence, comes a day after the British government announced that the job of plucking drowning sailors from the deep or lost hikers from the mountains will be handed over to a private Texas firm starting in 2015 under a contract worth up to $5 billion.
The Telegraph has reported that the Duke of Cambridge, a flight lieutenant in the RAF who has participated in several rescue operations that saved lives, opposed the privatization of the service and lobbied against it as far back as 2011, although royal officials never confirmed that.
But if it is true that William is giving up the often-risky S&R job for another military assignment and/or increased royal duties, it would not be a surprise. He turns 31 this summer, he's about to become a first-time parent, his wife, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, is mostly living in London until the baby is born in July, and it was inevitable he would be drawn closer into the royal-family firm as a future king, second in line to the throne.
Next week, for instance, the couple are to spend two days in Scotland undertaking several public engagements.
Several of William's rescue ops have been reported over the past two years, but mostly his RAF bosses say little about his heroics. In August last year, he helped rescue two teens who got into difficulties while swimming off the Welsh coast near William's base in Anglesey and the rented farmhouse where the couple live when they're in Wales. The year before he helped rescue a crew of Russian sailors after their ship sank in the Irish Sea.
Starting in 2015, this rescue job, which the RAF and the Royal Navy have handled for more than 70 years, will be handled by the Bristow Group, which might replace the aging Sea King choppers with new Sikorsky S-92s and AgustaWestland 189s.