One royal diary opens just as another one closes

Credit: PA

Before our very eyes, the British Monarchy is changing.

It has always evolved over time, of course, but within the next seven days we are going to witness some of the most significant change for many years.

It begins today when the Duke of Cambridge hangs up his helicopter helmet for the last time.

And the change completes next week when his grandad, the Duke of Edinburgh, completes his last official engagement for the Royal Family.

Prince William is hanging up his helicopter helmet. Credit: PA

And by now you will have spotted the synergy: one member of the family - aged 96 - gives up royal duties. Another member of the family - aged 35 - starts doing royal duties full time.

It's a recognition that younger members of the British Royal Family need to do more to support the older ones, who can no longer keep up the same punishing schedule they have had for so many years.

Of course, The Queen - at 91 - will still be doing her own duties but after their summer break in Balmoral she'll be doing more of them alone, or be accompanied by other family members like Prince William or Prince Harry.

The Queen will be accompanied by family members like Prince Harry more often.

After William completes his last shift tonight for the East Anglia Air Ambulance, he will begin the move from Norfolk to London with Kate and the children.

Prince George, now four, will start school in September and the Cambridges are moving back into their apartment in Kensignton Palace.

George's great grandfather meanwhile will be working out how to operate the TV remote control and finding out what there is to watch on daytime TV (perhaps Loose Women will get itself a new royal viewer!)

It's not that we will never see Prince Philip again.

I suspect he will still want to pay his respects at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

And he'll still be on the balcony for big family occasions.

Prince Philip will still be on the balcony for big family occasions. Credit: PA

But he won't have to accept any more entries in his royal dairy.

And given he's been doing that since the day of his engagement to the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947, that will be a major change.

But now the Duke of Cambridge doesn't have to fly any more air ambulances, his diary can take up the slack.