Prince William arrives in the Falkland Islands

Prince William has arrived in the Falkland Islands amid simmering tensions between Britain and Argentina over the disputed territory.

His arrival, ahead of a tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot, came as the Royal Navy prepares to send one of its most advanced new warships to the area. It has already sparked controversy in Argentina, which claims the prince will be wearing the uniform of a "conqueror" when he deploys.

The Ministry of Defence said William's six-week posting to the remote outcrop, which Buenos Aires calls Las Malvinas, was part of a "routine operational deployment".

The Duke – who has flown to the archipelago as part of a crew of four RAF personnel – will attend a series of briefings and take part in a "familiarisation flight" before he begins his search and rescue work.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: "MoD can confirm Flight Lieutenant Wales, as part of a four-man search and rescue (Sar) crew, has arrived in the Falkland Islands on a routine operational deployment and will shortly take up Sar duties post a period of briefings and a familiarisation flight."

The Duke's deployment in the Falklands comes amid a diplomatic war of words between the British and Argentinian governments.

It follows an announcement that HMS Dauntless, an ultra-modern Type 45 destroyer, is due to set sail for the South Atlantic on her maiden mission in the coming months. She is expected to replace frigate HMS Montrose in the region.

The Royal Navy has rejected suggestions the decision to send the destroyer to the area was a riposte to increased tensions over the sovereignty of the Falklands and said the ship's deployment was long planned.

William's posting has been similarly defended by the MoD as part of a normal squadron rotation.

But it has been branded as a provocative act by Argentina. In the latest salvo, the country's Foreign Ministry said it "rejected the British attempt to militarise [the] conflict" and expressed regret that an heir to the throne would arrive wearing "the uniform of a conqueror".

The Argentinian government on Thursday