Prince William Marks Quiet 29th Birthday

Newly married Prince William celebrates 29th birthday at work.

ByABC News
June 21, 2011, 9:23 AM

June 21, 2011 -- Farewell to the birthday celebrations of his youth and bachelor days.

Just-married Prince William is marking his 29th birthday on Tuesday at work.

William, a helicopter search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force, will spend the last birthday of his 20s on duty at a base in Anglesey, an island off the coast of Wales, and may even be pulling a 24-hour shift, palace officials confirmed.

Royal watchers say the prince would have endured media and professional glare had he taken a birthday vacation.

"William has got to work on his birthday," Duncan Larcombe, royal correspondent for the UK's Daily Sun newspaper, told "Good Morning America." "For an ordinary Royal Air Force pilot, it would be horrible if he was given the day off."

A quiet day, away from the media spotlight may be just what the prince himself wanted for his 29th birthday, coming on the heels of what has been a whirlwind year for the royal.

"We see how William wants to start out," said Larcombe. "He will be a full-time, working royal."

The son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana was married to the former Kate Middleton at London's Westminster Abbey on April 29 in a fairy tale wedding that was watched by billions around the globe.

After a delayed honeymoon in Seychelles, William and Kate, also 29, faced the dual tasks of settling into marriage life and preparing to move into their new London apartment at Kensington Palace, William's childhood home.

PHOTOS: Kate and William's New Home

It was Kensington Palace where William celebrated so many of his birthdays, also in a low-key manner thanks to his mother, Princess Diana, who tried to give her sons, William and his brother, Prince Harry, as normal lives as possible, within the confines of royal life.

"William's birthdays were very normal, with friends," Dickie Arbiter, the Queen's press secretary during William's childhood, told "GMA." "I remember him running around the palace in his Army fatigues."

William's grandfather, Prince Philip, recently celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this month with a full day of official engagements.

But the low-key birthday for the prince is more typical of what many are calling a new breed of monarchs, "modern royals:" going to college, having careers and marrying for love.

After exchanging vows amidst the pomp and circumstance of their lavish royal wedding, Prince William and Kate vowed to live as much of an ordinary life as possible.

PHOTOS: Highlights From the Royal Wedding