Kate and William to be separated for six weeks

Kate and William to be separated for six weeks

Prince William and Kate Middleton at a charity gala in London last month.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will be forced to spend six weeks apart next year when William is posted to the Falkland Islands.

The Duke of Cambridge will complete a six-week tour of duty in the South Atlantic region in February 2012.

It will be the longest time William and Kate have spent apart since their brief split in 2007.

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Kate is understood to be very supportive of William’s career, considering herself “very much a military wife”.

William — or Flight Lieutenant Wales as he is known in the military — is an RAF search and rescue pilot and will be flying missions in Sea King helicopter during his deployment.

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and William’s presence is expected to anger the Argentinean government, which asserts a territorial claim to the island despite defeat by British forces in 1982.

The British Ministry of Defence has stressed that William’s deployment is “routine” and the usual step for pilots at this stage in their career.

“The RAF can confirm that Flight Lieutenant William Wales, Search and Rescue Co-pilot, 22 Squadron, RAF Valley will complete a routine deployment to the Falkland Islands as part of a crew of four RAF personnel during the period February — March 2012,” a statement said.

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“Flt Lt Wales is one of 38,000 RAF personnel, all of whom are regularly and routinely deployed abroad. It is part of the job A six week deployment to the Falklands is conventional for such pilots at this stage of their career.”

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