Prince William returns from Falkland Islands

In this March 31, 2011 file photo of the Duke of Cambridge, he is sitting at the controls of a Sea King helicopter. Britain's Ministry of Defense has said that Prince William has arrived on Feb. 2 2012 in the Falklands for a tour duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot. The prince's visit has riled Argentina, which claims the islands 290 miles (460 kilometers) off its coast that it calls Las Malvinas. Britain's defense ministry has insisted William's deployment is routine, but Argentina's foreign ministry likened the move to a conquistador's arrival.
AP Photo/ John Stillwell/PA File
Duke of Cambridge sits at the controls of a Sea King helicopter.
AP Photo/ John Stillwell/PA File

(CBS/AP) Prince William will be reunited with his wife, Duchess Kate.

The prince, along with the rest of his four-man crew returned from the Falkland Islands to the UK Wednesday morning, after being stationed in the Falklands since February.

Pictures: Prince William and Kate

Flight Lt. Wales, as he's known in the Royal Air Force, was one of several pilots on call for search-and-resue missions in the sprawling chain of 704 islands.

Local islanders say William briefly visited the local hospital, and made a trip to remote Sea Lion island, a paradise for penguins, sea lions, elephant seals.

His deployment added to growing tension in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of Argentina's April 1982 invasion.

While William was away, the Duchess of Cambridge performed her first public engagementwithout her husband at her side when she visited the National Portrait Gallery in London, one of the charities she chose to support.

She also gave her first public speech on Monday at the opening of The Treehouse, a hospice that is run by East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), one of the organizations the duchess supports as a patron.

According to the Daily Mail, over the next few days the prince is expected to spend time with his wife and other members of the Royal family before he returns to Wales.