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Members of the royal family have a complicated relationship with the paparazzi. The royals are happy to smile for the camera at certain events that draw attention to their causes. But when they’re not attending official engagements they want their privacy.

After what happened to Princess Diana, both Prince William and Prince Harry have spoken out against the paps hounding the Princess of Wales (formerly known and Kate Middleton) and Meghan Markle. Before Kate married William and had protection officers, photographers constantly followed her. One episode in particular reportedly was “terrifying” for the Prince of Wales’ future wife.

Kate Middleton in a car wearing a tiara with her head bent down
Kate Middleton in a car headed to Buckingham Palace for a banquet | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Paparazzi aggressively chased Kate Middleton ‘late at night,’ royal author claims

The Times royal editor Roya Nikkhah wrote a lengthy piece for Kate Middleton’s 40th birthday. In that, Nikkhah detailed one episode in which paparazzi aggressively pursued the now-duchess in a “terrifying” incident. According to the article, before Kate and William tied the knot, the paparazzi would camp outside of a flat in Chelsea where she lived with her sister, Pippa Middleton, and would chase her down the street to get a photo.

Nikkhah wrote: “A friend tells me Kate was even chased late at night by several men in a car.”

The author said photogs wouldn’t leave her alone even when she was at her job. And they would hound her on her lunch break. Nikkhah added that Kate was “on her own” until William proposed, as she was not entitled to royal police protection unless she became his fiancée.

She had to quit her job because the photogs were always around

Kate Middleton attending the Chakravarty Cup polo match walking in a green dress holding a large brown handbag
Kate Middleton at the Chakravarty Cup polo match | Indigo/Getty Images

Kate worked as an accessories buyer for the fashion label Jigsaw between 2006 and 2007. And the paparazzi were always around trying to snap pictures as she would come and go. The unwanted attention went on for a while. And eventually, it led to Kate leaving her job because it had become too difficult being there with the constant presence of the paps.

She then joined Party Pieces, her family’s party-planning business.

Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, has said each of her kids has contributed to the company’s success. “It is still very much a family business today, and over the years all my children have played a huge part in it from modeling for the catalog to developing new categories for the brand,” she shared on the Party Pieces website.

Before she married William, Kate watched videos of how Princess Diana handled the paps

Princess Diana photographed leaving a bookshop in 1992
Princess Diana leaving a bookshop in 1992 | Vincent Amalvy/AFP via Getty Images

Kate Middleton Compared to Another Beloved Royal for Her ‘Toughness’ (And It’s Not Queen Elizabeth II or Princess Diana)

Kate appears to have transitioned into royal life seamlessly. But prior to her engagement to the prince, she received some royal training.

According to royal commentator Katie Nicholl, the palace requested that William’s then-girlfriend watch videos of the late Princess Diana to see how she interacted with photographers.

“Bizarrely, she had been advised to watch footage of the late Princess of Wales in order to learn how to deal with the paparazzi, notorious for being aggressive in their pursuit of a picture, taunting their prey in order to get a response,” Nicholl wrote in her book Kate: The Future Queen, per AOL. “At the palace, there was a concerted effort not to allow Kate to be exposed to the same ruthless treatment.”