02/05/2012

'Pirate prince' William gets to work as Falkland tensions grow


2012-02-04T185638Z_01_CLH10Prince William didn't waste any time getting on with his job in the Falkland Islands this weekend, just as protests intensified protesting his presence.

Stepping out onto the tarmac for his first flyover of the British territory, the cameras focused on the Prince and it's plain that the UK has no intention of hiding their military presence from angry Argentines who have have long sought sovereignty over the islands off their coastline.

The Duke of Cambridge's arrival has been called an act of provocation by Argentina's foreign ministry, who lament that he comes wearing "the uniform of a conqueror." An economic blockade has been threatened.

The tone is definitely angry. British flags have been burned in the streets of Buenos Aires and protest groups promise to target British-owned businesses in the country. One protest group called William the "pirate prince."

For his part, William seems intent on just doing his job on the crew of a search-and-rescue helicopter. He spent his first day in extensive briefings before taking the Sea King out on patrol.

The British government has remained steadfast in maintaining its rule over the islands. It has authorized deployment of a nuclear submarine to patrol the waters off the island and the HMS Dauntless -- the latest in British battleship technology -- will arrive at the Falklands in the next few months.

All this comes with the backdrop of the 30th anniversary of the 74-day Falklands War, when Britian repelled an invasion by Argentine forces. On May 20, there will be ceremonies in Britain marking the successful campaign and commemorating the 255 British personnel who died. (There were 649 Argentines killed.)

"Since both countries will be doing that (holding ceremonies) I don't think there is anything provocative about that," UK foreign secretary William Hague told Sky News. "Nor is there anything provocative about entirely routine military movements.

"The Falkland Islands have only got a population of 2,500 people but we are determined that they should be able to decide their own future."

For the next six weeks, it's William's job to protect those UK interests. But that won't stop the Argentines from trying to make life for him as uncomfortable as possible.

NO EVEREST FOR HARRY: Prince Harry has had to give up his planned Mount Everest trek with the Walking With the Wounded military group. Harry had joined the group for part of their expedition to the North Pole last year and had planned to join them for the Himalyan adventure this year -- at least as far as base camp. However, his own military commitments, as well as duties for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, has forced him to back out.

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Prince William goes over the charts detailing the topography of the Islands (Getty Images)

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Flight Lt. William Wales and the crew head out for the Prince's first flight over the Falkland territory they will be patrolling for the next six weeks. (Getty Images)

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Good for William. God save the Queen!

Soy Argentino, and can only say, I SORRY people of Falkland, i hope u can leave in peace and do what u want whit u land.-
Luis de Argentina.

Britain showed remarkable restraint not bombing Argentina in 1982

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