Royal newlyweds return to tranquil island home

3rd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Prince William and his bride Catherine were getting back to normal life at their secluded home on Tuesday as the groom went back on duty as a helicopter pilot ahead of their honeymoon.

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were returning to Anglesey, northwest Wales, where William was resuming his day job as a Royal Air Force (RAF) search and rescue pilot.

Life back on the rural island will seem a world away from Friday's fairytale wedding in Westminster Abbey, which was watched by an estimated one million people on the streets of London and two billion on television around the world.

"They will be returning to Anglesey this week and the duke will be going back to work at RAF Valley," said a spokeswoman for Clarence House, the office of William's father Prince Charles.

The newlyweds spent a short private break in Britain, having flown out of Buckingham Palace by helicopter on Saturday afternoon. Clarence House would not reveal where they had spent the weekend.

The couple chose not to depart immediately for their honeymoon, which will be abroad. Details will not be announced in advance, though the newlyweds have planned it together, Clarence House said.

The couple are due to visit Canada from June 30 to July 8 for their first official overseas visit.

Meanwhile a Clarence House spokeswoman denied reports that William would be posted to Britain's remote Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean in September, saying there were "no plans" for such a deployment.

The Ministry of Defence does not discuss where service personnel are deployed.

However, it is understood that plans are being finalised for the prince to go to the archipelago some time next year for a 10-week stint.

Overseas deployments are a routine part of the William's job with the RAF.

RAF rules mean that Catherine would not be able to join her husband on such a posting.

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

William's uncle Prince Andrew served in the Falklands War as a Sea King co-pilot. He, too, was second in line to the throne at the time. The Argentinian junta surrendered exactly one week before William was born.

While William gets back to work in Wales, royal wedding fever is still buzzing in London.

Visitors are queuing round the block to get into Westminster Abbey to go on a special royal wedding tour running until Friday.

More than 8,000 visitors passed through the abbey on Saturday with another 10,000 on Monday. Entry to the historic church costs £16 ($27, 18 euros).

The flower displays and seating layout will remain in place this week to allow visitors to walk through the abbey and soak up the atmosphere.

The duchess's bouquet has been placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in the abbey, in line with a royal tradition started in 1923 by Queen Elizabeth II's mother after her brother Fergus was killed in World War I.

"We are delighted to welcome so many people," said a spokeswoman for the abbey. "The most welcome feature is the number of visitors from the UK."

While all the attention has been on William and Kate, the first big royal event after the wedding is Charles' two-day official visit to Washington ahead of President Barack Obama's May 24-26 state visit to Britain.

The heir to the throne will meet Obama at the White House on Wednesday for talks on a range of subjects.

© 2011 AFP

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