[ 2007-01-08 09:01 ]
William's girlfriend Kate Middleton smiles during the Sovereign's Parade
at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, southern England December 15,
protection for Prince William's girlfriend has been stepped up as paparazzi relentlessly pursue her in an eerie
reminder of how they shadowed William's mother, Princess Diana.
Images of Kate Middleton already attract thousands of pounds and with media
speculation rife that William is set to propose, photographers are following
every move of Britain's possible future queen.
"William is very angry that nothing has changed," one courtier said of the
prince's fury over the paparazzi who made life such hell for his late mother and now have increased their
surveillance of his longtime girlfriend.
Ten police officers were summoned to protect the young couple after a trip to
a London nightclub last week.
They keep a watchful eye as she heads off to work every day as a fashion
buyer. Media reports say she has been given a police radio for her protection.
Her London apartment is constantly targeted by paparazzi, recalling the media
spotlight on Diana from the moment she became the girlfriend of heir-to-the
throne Prince Charles to her death in a Paris car crash in 1997 with paparazzi
in hot pursuit.
William and his younger brother Harry have never forgiven the way the
paparazzi hounded Diana.
Now lawyers for Middleton have written to editors urging restraint and one
possible avenue is to complain to the Press Complaints Commission, the media
Tomorrow, Middleton will celebrate her 25th birthday.
One day, she could match Diana as the world's most photographed women.
With security tightened around her,
bookmakers William Hill has cut the odds of a 2007 wedding from
6-1 to 3-1.
"All the signs are pointing towards a royal engagement and wedding. It just
seems to be the timing which remains to be decided," spokesman Graham Sharpe
"We have closed our book on the
date of the wedding after taking several bets for July 19, 2007 at odds of 66-1
which have landed us with a potential payout of almost 50,000 pounds ($97,000)."