Before Prince William and Kate Middleton were married, the two had a complicated romance that put the Duchess of Cambridge in danger. However, it appears William and Prince Charles opted out of protecting Kate from various threats.

When William and Kate began dating during their time at the University of St. Andrews, the couple didn’t have to worry about the prying eyes of the paparazzi. However, once they graduated, Kate was left to fend for herself.

A 2007 report from the Sunday Express claimed Prince William and Prince Charles were aware of the dangerous amount of attention Kate received. However, the men did little to offer Kate security despite her parents’ concerns.

Prior to their engagement, Kate was often followed by the paparazzi to her home. Royal correspondent Camilla Tominey revealed Kate was considered a “security nightmare” for palace employees, but couldn’t be assigned a bodyguard because she and William weren’t engaged.

“She’s already a target for paparazzi, so she must be a target for terrorists,” a source told Tominey.

Although Prince Charles received calls to assign a bodyguard to Kate, she wasn’t offered protection. Royal girlfriends cannot have bodyguards that are paid for by taxpayers until they become engaged. Despite the threats to Kate’s safety, William didn’t propose.

He waited another three years before he popped the question during a trip to Africa. In 2010, Prince William explained why he chose to propose in Kenya. “I regularly daydream. Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. It does completely settle me down,” he told CNN.

“[Kate] understands what it means to me being in Africa and my love of conservation. I didn’t really plan it that far in advance. I just knew I wanted it to feel comfortable where I did it.”

Prince William and Kate were married in 2011 and welcomed their first child, Prince George two years later.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton are pictured as they arrive to officially open Dundee’s V&A (Victoria and Albert) museum on Jan. 29, 2019 in Dundee, eastern Scotland. Neil Hanna/AFP/Getty Images