Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, reportedly underwent training from British Special Forces in order to help her prevent the threat of kidnapping.
According to reports, sources claimed that the Duchess took an intensive personal protection program following fears that her sudden fame and notoriety after the Royal Wedding would make her a target for kidnappers, terrorists and stalkers.
"The Palace [wants] to ensure Kate's new status doesn't make her vulnerable to attack,” a source told The Sun newspaper.
"She has been well trained in what to do should the unthinkable happen. VIP kidnap protection training teaches how to cope both mentally and physically. The mental element involves reacting to unusual situations, such as when there was a stranger in the Queen's bedroom — and she just started talking to him."
The course she took is reportedly very demanding, both physically and emotionally, and teaches a wide array of survival skills.
Other members of the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth, the late Princess Diana, and Prince Charles, have all taken the training, which is conducted by members of the SAS, Scotland Yard’s personal protection squad; or by MI5 intelligence officers.
Prince William took the course himself when he was only 16 years old in Hereford. He reportedly learned to fire a submachine gun, among other exercises.
Fears of a kidnapping of royal family member is not unfounded.
In 1974, Princess Anne (the daughter of Queen Elizabeth) and her first husband Mark Phillips were shot at by someone in another car as they were returning to Buckingham Palace. The shooter Ian Ball planned to kidnap Anne and demand a ransom as high as £3 million.
While Anne was eventually not harmed, the incident forced the royal family to implement tighter security measures.
The location of her training has not been disclosed. A spokesman for the Duchess was unavailable for comment.