New job in the offing for Prince William

Britain's Prince William said that he is to leave his home on the Welsh island of Anglesey when his posting with the Royal Air Force finishes next month and move "elsewhere" with his wife Kate and their newborn son.

William, 31, is coming to the end of a three-year tour of duty as an RAF search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, and is widely expected to return to London with Kate and their newborn son, Prince George, to take on more royal duties.

"I have never in my life known somewhere as beautiful and as welcoming as Anglesey," the prince said in a speech at an agricultural show on Anglesey.

"I know that both of us will miss it terribly when my search and rescue tour of duty comes to an end next month and we have to move elsewhere."

Those duties will include, it now seems, an official visit to Australia in 2014.

Speaking to Max and Maxine Davies from Victor Harbor near Adelaide the Duke of Cambridge said: "George is doing really well, thank you.''

"We are all very hopeful of coming to Australia next year,'' William added, according to media reports in the UK.

Mr and Mrs Davies, aged 77 and 75 respectively, later said they were thrilled at the prospect of a royal visit.

"We are on holiday here and can't believe we got to talk to him,'' Mrs Davies said at the show, according to British tabloid The Daily Mail.

"How wonderful that the family will come to Australia to visit.''

Prince William was just nine months old when he himself was first taken on a trip Down Under by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

A spokeswoman for William's residence Kensington Palace said that the second-in-line to the throne was due to announce his plans shortly.

In his current job, he regularly flies in dangerous weather conditions to rescue stranded climbers or seamen near his base on the rugged isle of Anglesey, off north Wales.

Royal-watchers have speculated that William may stay in the RAF, possibly in a different role that allows him to stay closer to London.

"We will announce what his next steps are in due course," a palace spokesman told AFP.

"There is a chance that he can still be in a search and rescue force elsewhere around the country."

There have been suggestions that William could even leave the RAF altogether in order to carry out more royal engagements as his 87-year-old grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, increasingly hands over duties to younger royals.

William is back at work after taking two weeks of paternity leave following George's birth on July 22.

Reflecting on his tiring first weeks of fatherhood, he joked to the crowds: "I have to say that I thought search and rescue duties over Snowdonia were physically and mentally demanding, but looking after a three week-old baby is up there!"

He described his son, who is third in line to the throne, as "pretty loud but of course very good-looking".

William received several gifts for George at the show, including a blanket and a toy tractor.

- AFP

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