Prince William is heading to the azure waters of the Caribbean as part of a two-month deployment in the Royal Navy despite his request to be as close as possible to conflict.
The assignment beginning Monday will see the second in line to the throne spending much of his time trolling the West Indies aboard the HMS Iron Duke, a frigate on hurricane relief duty and counter-narcotics patrol.
Rear Admiral Robert Cooling, assistant chief of Naval Staff, said William "commendably wanted to be as close to the front line as possible." But officers decided he could learn more in a short time by serving on the Iron Duke than by being sent to the Persian Gulf, where the Royal Navy is engaged in a number of operations.
There was also concern that placing William, 25, in the Persian Gulf might draw unwanted attention from Britain's enemies. Deployment of William's brother, Prince Harry, to the front lines in Afghanistan had to be cut short this spring after a news embargo was broken and it was revealed he was serving there.