Dating a prince seems awful TBH. Kate Middleton dated Prince William for ten years before they tied the knot, and the Duchess of Cambridge dealt with a lot during that time. Like her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, Middleton was given nasty nicknames from the press. The future Crowned King also had a wandering eye. One of the most frightening things that Middleton had to deal with was constant harassment from the paparazzi and the press.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began dating during their first year at St. Andrews University, they tried to keep their romance on the down low. The prince even ignored Kate at his 21st birthday party which obviously pissed her off. When they finally went public with their relationship, it was not pretty. Since the couple was out of college by the time their relationship was widely known–the duchess was no longer protected within the walls of the University. The press found out where she lived (her exact address), where she worked, and all of the places she frequented. From then on, no matter where she went, with or without Wils, she was followed and photographed.
With the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana in 1997, Prince William had seen first hand how ruthless and reckless the press could be. After all, the Princess of Wales died in a car crash while trying to flee from the paparazzi. In her book, Kate: The Future Queen, royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl explained, “William was aware of the situation and anxious about it. He had seen firsthand how his mother had been harassed by the paparazzi and was determined that Kate not be subjected to the same treatment.”
To try and protect his lady, William teamed up with The Palace to create a panic button of sorts. Apparently, the prince insisted that The Palace create a special hotline for Kate when she found herself panicking. A senior press aide told Nicholl,
We had been introduced to Kate early on, and we were instructed from the outset to give her every support possible, She was obviously the subject of a lot of press interest and intrusion from the paparazzi. William said we had a duty of care to her and her family and so we advised her on how to deal with the cameras. We told her to smile at the photographers so that there would be a better picture. She was given advice on how to manage the media, and we were there to support her if there was a crisis.
Whew–better Kate and Meghan than us because we could never.