- (Photo: Reuters / Adrian Dennis)
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be spending their first Valentine's Day as a married couple apart.
William has been deployed with the Royal Navy to the Falkland Islands, where he will spend six weeks on a mission to diffuse tensions with Argentina. Kate, however, will visit Liverpool and spend time with the charities she has chosen to support as patron.
Tensions have grown between the United Kingdom and Argentina; the two countries were at war only 20 years ago. Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina of being too colonial and stated, "The key point is we support the Falkland Islanders' right to self-determination, and what the Argentineans have been saying recently, I would argue is actually far more like colonialism."
Prince William is a helicopter pilot for the Royal Navy and has flown in several search-and-rescue missions. Argentines have expressed disappointment that William "will arrive on our soil in the uniform of a conquistador, and not with the wisdom of a statesman who works for peace and dialogue between nations."
While William is abroad, Kate will be visiting Action on Addiction, an organization the Duchess is a patron. She will also stop by the Alder Hey children's hospital to visit patients and see the work the Ronald McDonald House is doing in the area. Finally, it has been confirmed that she will visit the National Portrait Gallery for a private viewing of a new collection by Lucian Freud.
This will be Kate's first time alone in public, as she and William usually make joint appearances. However, she is looking forward to visiting with her favorite charities and will have the companionship of the couple's new puppy. According to officials, the new family member was adopted through a "family connection" and is a cocker spaniel.
There is no word yet on whether the Duchess will make other stops during her official outing, though there is speculation that she may include other stops.