Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton meets guests at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in central London during a briefing to outline new agendas and aims for 2017 for the mental health charity Heads Together on 17 January Stefan Wermuth/AFP

The Duchess of Cambridge is no stranger to sacrificing love in favour of conducting royal engagements, having spent Valentine's Day away from husband Prince William in the past for special appearances across the UK.

Now, it has been confirmed by Kensington Palace that Kate Middleton will be visiting an RAF based in Cambridgeshire this V Day.

The 35-year-old duchess became royal patron and Honorary Air Commandment of the Air Cadet Organisation more than a year ago – and will meet and greet air cadets from the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing Air Training Corps on the day.

The youngsters are taking part in a half-term skills development camp and will no doubt be excited to be in the company of royalty.

The 95-year-old Duke of Edinburgh passed his patronage to the duchess following 63 years serving as Air Commodore-in-chief, and the Valentine's Day visit will be Middleton's third trip to see the RAF air cadets. She will also have the honour of flying a simulator during the solo engagement.

A Kensington Palace statement read: "The week acts as an initial 'camp experience' for cadets who are in their first six months of membership. Her Royal Highness will join the cadets as they view a tutor aircraft, and participate in a personal development training session."

kate middleton
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) and Jennifer Lopez attend the Bafta 'Brits to Watch' event held at the Belasco Theatre, Los Angeles, in July 2011 Matt Baron-Pool/Getty Images

The duchess has a busy time coming up as it has also been confirmed that she will join Prince William at this year's EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. It was previously rumoured that Bafta bosses did not want the glamorous duchess at the event amid fear that she would upstage red carpet guests including Naomie Harris, but a spokesperson for the organisation denied the claims.

One "insider" told The Sun: "William has faced serious criticism from the film industry for missing the Baftas the last two years, despite being our president.

"As a result of that feedback, he made it clear he wants to go this year and even bring Kate. It would be a real show of his commitment towards Bafta and create headlines around the world."

The source added: "But it was then expressed by senior staff within Bafta that Kate's attendance will totally distract from all the film stars there."

But a Bafta spokesperson later stated: "We would be delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses any year they are able to attend."

The ceremony is set to take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 February, with veteran English director Ken Loach potentially walking away with Best Film and Best Director awards for I, Daniel Blake.

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