Puppy keeps Kate company as William serves in the Falklands

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 02 2012 07:23 AM | Updated as of Feb 02 2012 03:23 PM

LONDON - Prince William's wife Kate will not be on her own during her husband's tour of duty in the Falkland Islands: the couple have a new puppy, St James's Palace said Wednesday.

William, second in line to the throne, is due to begin a routine six-week posting in the South Atlantic archipelago in early February, leaving Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, back home in Britain.

It is thought their new pet will live at their home near the RAF Valley base on Anglesey, northwest Wales, where William, 29, has been working as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot for more than a year.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a male cocker spaniel," a St James's Palace spokeswoman said.

"It's from a litter known to the couple through a family connection. It's a few months old."

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the dog's father is a pet that belongs to the duchess's mother Carole Middleton.

Britain has around 1,000 military personnel on the Falklands to ensure their security following the April 1982 invasion by Argentina.

Britain has held the islands since 1833 but Buenos Aires insists they are occupied Argentinian territory.

Tensions between Britain and Argentina are high as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War approaches.

Argentina has reacted with fury to William's deployment, saying he would be visiting the area "in a conqueror's uniform".

Overseas deployments are a routine part of the duke's position with the RAF.

RAF rules mean that Kate is not be able to join her husband on the posting.

William has been putting in plenty of hours of flying time in recent months as he bids to win promotion and become a captain. The experience he will gain in the Falklands will count towards his goal.