William posting 'provocative act'

Sat, Nov 12, 2011, 00:00

The Duke of Cambridge’s posting to the Falkland Islands has been branded a “provocative act” in Argentina.

William, a Flight Lieutenant with the RAF, will be deployed to the remote outcrop in the South Atlantic for six weeks to fly search and rescue helicopter missions next year.

But Argentine official Sebastian Brugo Marco said the country could not ignore the “political” implications of his move, which comes shortly before the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s defeat in the Falklands War.

Mr Brugo Marco, who has responsibility for the South Atlantic territory, told Argentine newspaper La Nacion: “It is one more provocative act that shows Britain’s military presence in a zone of peace where there is no armed conflict.”

Argentina still claims sovereignty over the islands, which it refers to as Las Malvinas.

“One cannot ignore the political content of this military operation bearing in mind that the prince forms part of the Royal Family,” Mr Brugo Marco added.

The Ministry of Defence has insisted that William’s posting - as part of a crew of four RAF personnel - is a “routine deployment” and forms part of a “normal” squadron rotation.

William will be alone while based in the Falklands, leaving wife Kate at their home at Kensington Palace between February and March.

He will not carry out any royal engagements while on the overseas territory and if his deployment coincides with any events commemorating the 1982 conflict, it is unlikely he will attend in an official capacity.