Britain's Prince William attends the UK premiere of War
Horse at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London
January 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ian Gavan/POOL
Britain's Prince William has arrived in the Falkland
Islands for a posting as a military search-and-rescue pilot,
the defence ministry said, with tension resurging between
London and Argentina over sovereignty of the British-ruled
The prince was deployed to the South Atlantic with the Royal
Air Force just two months ahead of the 30th anniversary of
the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina over the
A war of words between the two governments has escalated in
recent months, with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez
describing Britain as a "crass colonial power in decline".
Argentina's foreign ministry said William, the second in line
to the British throne, was arriving in the "uniform of a
London, which rejects Buenos Aires's claim over the craggy
windswept islands, is sending one of its most sophisticated
warships to the Falklands, known as Las Malvinas in Spanish.
Britain's defence ministry said on Thursday it was routine
for Prince William to spend time in the Falklands at this
stage in his career. The prince, known as Flight Lieutenant
Wales in the Royal Air Force, graduated as a
search-and-rescue pilot in September 2010, having started his
training in Anglesey, Wales.
"(William) has arrived in the Falkland Islands on a routine
operational deployment and will shortly take up SAR (search
and rescue) duties post a period of briefings and a
familiarisation flight," the ministry said in a brief
William, who is married to Catherine Middleton, the Duchess
of Cambridge, will not carry out any royal duties during his
six weeks on the islands, it added.
Britain has controlled the islands, about 480km off the
southern Argentine coast, since 1833.
In 1982, Britain sent a naval force and thousands of troops
to reclaim the islands after Argentine forces sent by the
country's then-military junta occupied them. About 650
Argentine and 255 British troops died in the 10-week
Britain refuses to negotiate with Argentina over its claim of
sovereignty to the islands. Prime Minister David Cameron said
last month Britain was committed to protecting the islands.