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LONDON — Palace officials said Friday that Prince Harry is to depart the Army Air Corps where he spent more than three years as an Apache helicopter pilot and take up a position as a staff officer in London.

"Captain Wales has reached the pinnacle of flying excellence as an Apache pilot, particularly inAfghanistan and, in the process, has proved to be a real inspiration to the many Army Air Corps officers and soldiers who have come to know him so well over the last two years," Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue, who commanded Harry in the Army Air Corps, said in a statement released by Kensington Palace.

Harry will retain the rank of captain and be based from Horse Guards in the capital, the statement said.

Between September 2012 and January 2013, the prince, 29, undertook a much-publicized operational tour of Afghanistan as an Apache co-pilot gunner. Although he suffered no mishaps as part of that deployment, there were fears that his presence in the region could create an unusual opportunity for militants were he to be captured. He qualified as an Apache aircraft commander in July last year.

Kensington Palace said Harry — known in the army as Capt. Wales — will now be organizing "major commemorative events" involving the army.

In other royal family news Friday, it was revealed that the queen's granddaughter,Zara Tindall, gave birth to a baby girl. The infant becomes the 16th in line to the throne.