Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton has reportedly signed a "confidentiality agreement" with the British Royal family before their anticipated wedding to ensure she never sells her story should the couple divorce.
According to the 'Sunday Express', Kate is believed to have signed the gagging contract when they briefly broke up in April 2007, a move which was orchestrated by Clarence House to protect the second-in-line to the British throne should the relationship not go the distance.
This not only explains Kate's unwillingness to speak to the press but also why she has maintained such a low profile in recent years.
"Kate has been the soul of discretion throughout her relationship with William so she was never likely to speak to the newspapers but Clarence House wanted it in writing. It's not very romantic but it shows how serious the relationship
is," a source was quoted as saying.
There had been worldwide speculation that William would propose to Kate last week after Tina Brown, the former editor of Tatler magazine and a close friend of Princess Diana, said that the royal diary had been "cleared" on June 3 and 4 for an engagement announcement.
However, according to the British tabloid, royal insiders do not expect them to tie the knot until 2013.
Speculation that they plan to marry in 2012 to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is wide of the mark, according to sources who say Palace staff do not want anything to upstage Her Majesty's landmark occasion.
William is due to complete his training as an airforce search and rescue pilot in September before starting a minimum 30-month tour of duty, which would probably rule out a wedding next year.