Kate Middleton given bodyguard

Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton has been given her own bodyguard.

The 26-year-old brunette is not entitled to official security until she becomes engaged to William but has been assigned a Scotland Yard protection officer for the couple’s Swiss skiing holiday.

The decision to give Kate – who rekindled her romance with the future king last year after a brief split – a bodyguard was a precautionary measure and will not become a permanent arrangement.

However, sources say it is a significant step towards her becoming a full-time member of the royal family.

One said: “If Kate is being given her own bodyguard, it can’t be long before they announce their engagement.”

William and Kate arrived in Switzerland on Sunday (16.03.08) and have been pictured having fun on the slopes. They are due to be joined by William’s father, Prince Charles, tomorrow (21.03.08). Charles’ wife Camilla will not be accompanying him as she does not ski.