Prince Harry plans to leave the armed forces this year, after serving two tours in Afghanistan on the front line with distinction, the Evening Standard reported Friday. The prince now reportedly plans to spend “a significant period abroad” and do charity work in Africa.
Harry, or Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the military, is reportedly keen to continue his interests in “conservation and wildlife,” according to the Evening Standard. He also plans to focus on programs to help injured service staff.
Harry is also scheduled to visit Australia for “several weeks” to work with units there, before his active military duties end, the report added. The prince will later spend time in New Zealand but will not be associated with the military there.
“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,” a spokesman for the Kensington Palace, said, according to the Evening Standard, adding: “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.”
Harry is expected to fulfill several other non-military public duties during his time in Australia and is expected to join Prince Charles, his father, at the 100th anniversary of the Anzac Day in April. However, the exact timing of when Harry would leave the active service is not yet clear.
“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,” a source told the Evening Standard, adding: “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.”
Prince Harry will continue to represent the Queen on official duties at home and internationally, the report added.
“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,” another source said, according to the report, adding: “He will also focus on his charities and maintain his interests in highlighting the plight of injured service staff.”