Published 19 June 2015

After more than a decade of full-time military service Prince Harry has today ended his career with the Army.

The Prince has had a fulfilling military career and considers it a huge honour to have served his country in the Armed Forces, during which time he has undertaken two operational tours of duty in Afghanistan, qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander, spearheaded the Invictus Games and - most recently - undertaken an attachment with the Australian Defence Force.

When his decision to leave the Army was announced, General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff said that Prince Harry had "achieved much in his ten years as a soldier. He has been at the forefront throughout his service."

Prince Harry has said that work in the service of military personnel throughout the Commonwealth will be a permanent feature of his royal and charitable duties for the rest of his life. This autumn he will return to work as a volunteer with the Personnel Recovery Unit of London District, where he will assist soldiers with their rehabilitation after being wounded or injured in service.

As previously announced Prince Harry will spend the next three months working on front-line conservation projects in southern Africa. The Prince has worked closely with conservation experts from several organisations – including the Zoological Society of London – to design a programme that will give him a first-hand insight into the urgent challenges faced by people on the ground working to protect Africa's natural heritage and support both wildlife and local communities.

The programme will cover a variety of activity in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana. Prince Harry will learn about environmental education programmes and see up close the importance of linking the long-term future of southern Africa's wildlife with the sustainable development of the communities who live alongside the wildlife.

Additionally, Prince Harry will spend time working with experts at the sharp end of wildlife protection. He will join a team of rangers who are the first to respond to reports of poaching attacks on elephants and rhino. He will for a time work alongside some of the world's leading veterinarians who act to save animals who have survived barbaric attacks, including the removal of their tusks. And he will also work with park managers to learn about new technologies being used to enforce site protection.

Wherever possible, Prince Harry will be fully embedded with the conservationists and front-line staff he will be working alongside, including living in the same accommodation.

Jonathan Baillie, Director of Conservation Programmes at the Zoological Society of London – which is a partner in The Duke of Cambridge's United for Wildlife coalition – said that Prince Harry's work would have real value for the global conservation movement.

"The Duke of Cambridge has played a vital role in rallying the biggest players in global conservation to work together to address a rapidly escalating poaching crises affecting regions such as southern Africa. Over the past year he has put the fight against the illegal wildlife trade on the agenda of the Presidents of both the United States and China.

"And now his brother Prince Harry will be working on the ground gaining experience in areas facing some of the greatest conservation challenges. We at ZSL have been delighted to play a part in pulling together a programme that will be tough, but rewarding. After this period, Prince Harry will be one of the best-informed ambassadors for the conservation community on what is really happening on the ground in Africa. His experience will be of great value."