Is the Duchess of Cambridge fighting stress and becoming increasingly worried about the prospect of being left alone when her husband is away on Falkland Islands on a six-week RAF tour of duty?

Kate Middleton is crumbling under mounting pressure and is surviving on just a few hours of sleep these days, worried over the thoughts of being left without having Prince William around for the first time since their wedding, according to the Now magazine.

The Duke of Cambridge is due to leave for the Falklands by the first week of February.

The magazine has quoted a source close to the royal couple as saying: "She'd prepared herself for the stress of the wedding, but she had no idea that things would get worse afterwards."

William's absence means Kate will have to handle the Royal protocol and official events on her own, something which she is not prepared for yet, the report has added. "It's taken a lot of coaching to work through her nerves. Usually she has Wills by her side - now she'll be without him. She fears she'll trip up the stairs or say the wrong thing," the source has told the magazine.

The Ministry of Defence is going ahead with the Duke of Cambridge's Falklands deployment despite sharp reactions and protests from the Argentine government. A top official had termed the decision as a provocative act and accused the UK of adopting an aggressive attitude.

"This is another provocative act by Great Britain, with its military presence in a peaceful zone where there is no armed conflict. It is impossible to ignore the political aspect of this military operation bearing in mind that the prince forms part of the royal family," Sebastian Brugo Marco, a senior official with Argentina's foreign ministry, told La Nacion, a local newspaper.