- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ANGLESEY, Wales (AP) — Britain’s most glamorous royal couple are spending this week on an island — just not the kind of island everyone expected.

It’s not a private honeymoon retreat in the Caribbean or the Seychelles, but Anglesey, a wind-swept spot off northwest Wales where Prince William works as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot at the Royal Air Force Valley base.

A palace spokesman said the couple had decided to stay “weeks ago.”

So instead of suntan lotion and lazy dips in an azure-blue sea, it’s back to work just days after the couple’s picture-perfect wedding captivated much of the world. The former Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, does their shopping while William, Duke of Cambridge, trains and works on the base.

The choice may offer the emotionally exhausted couple something even more valuable than a hectic, security-protected jaunt: privacy.

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The couple rent a whitewashed farmhouse close to a private beach and away from snooping camera lenses.

“They don’t get bothered at all here,” said Daisy Gibson, a 19-year-old university student. “There’s rumors about where they are, but nobody knows where they live, really. They don’t get recognized that much when they go out because they look quite low-key when they walk around.”

It may also be their best chance to spend time together as husband and wife. The prince’s office said he will not go to the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina as part of his training this year, but the posting is a routine part of the three-year service he began in September 2010.

Britain has ruled the South Atlantic islands — known in Spanish as Las Malvinas — for almost 180 years, but Argentina still claims them.

People in Anglesey may act as if it’s no big deal to have the likely future king and queen in residence, but most were glued to the tube for the entire royal wedding at Westminster Abbey.

“I watched all day,” Ms. Gibson said. “I loved the dress; I want it for my wedding. It’s exciting to have them here.”

And word does spread fast when the duchess, sometimes accompanied by the prince, goes grocery shopping at Tesco or Morrisons, two budget-oriented supermarket chains.

“Everyone knows,” Ms. Gibson said. “It gets around, but the people at RAF Valley say it’s just like having another person on the team. They don’t treat him like he’s any different. You can’t when you’re in that position.”

While William is developing his military career — a long-standing tradition for men in the royal family — Kate is serving as a “forces wife,” a role many Britons can sympathize with.

It is a far cry from the glitz of London, where they often spent late nights clubbing before retreating to one of the royal palaces. Instead of boutiques in upscale Chelsea, there is Poundland, a discount emporium where every item costs 1 pound ($1.65). The island — which measures about 30 miles from one end to another — has a  population of roughly 66,800, according to a 2001 census.

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