by Kendall Fisher | Fri., Jan. 20, 2017 9:34 AM
It looks like 2017 has a lot of changes in store for the royal family.
Kensington Palace released a few statements on behalf of Prince William and Kate Middleton Friday, informing the public the pair and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are turning a new page in their royal book.
First and foremost, William announced that he will be leaving his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance—where he's worked for two years—in order to spend more time with his family.
The Duke said in a statement, "It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my royal work for decades to come...I have loved being part of a team of professional, talented people that save lives every day. My admiration for our country's medical and emergency services community could not be any stronger."
Prince William's announcement comes on the heels of even more news regarding the royal family's plans to stay in London more often in 2017.
Though William and Kate have primarily based their family at Anmer Hall in Norfolk in order to allow the Duke to work as a pilot, Kensington Palace announced they'll increasingly base themselves in London starting this fall. In fact, Prince George will attend school in London come September, and Princess Charlotte will go to nursery school (and continue her other schooling there in the future).
So what could be the cause behind all the change?
Kensington Palace explained in the statement, "The Royal Highnesses are keen to increase their official work on behalf of the Queen and for the charities and causes they support, which will require greater time spend in London."
Stephen Lock - Pool/Getty Images
This is likely due to Queen Elizabeth II's announcement before the New Year in which she informed the public of her plans to stand down from 25 of her patronages and hand the charitable responsibilities over to younger members of the royal family.
She revealed she would be giving responsibility of several U.K. organizations—including Save the Children, Barnado's and the Royal Geographic Society—to Kate and William.
Prince Harry, on the other hand, will take over the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, while William will handle the Amateur Swimming Association.
While the Queen will remain a patron of roughly 600 organizations, royal expert Victoria Arbiter said her announcement is a sign of a royal transition in motion.
"We're definitely seeing a transition in progress. The royal family doesn't leave anything to chance," Arbiter said in an interview on Today. "We're seeing this really slow transition in place, but it doesn't mean she's any less committed to the role."
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