William explained he was "massively" protective of Kate, especially following the media interest in his late mother Princess Diana. The royal said he wanted to give her the "chance to back out" which is why he didn't rush his proposal, which took place in Kenya in 2010 following an eight-year relationship.
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"You know it better than Kate does, you're obviously very protective of her," said journalist Tom Bradby in their engagement interview. William responded: "Massively so. Of course, her and her family, I want to make sure they have the best guidance and chance to see what life is like in the family.
"That's kind of why I have been waiting this long as I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she needed to," he added, which was met by a laugh from the Princess. William continued: "Before it gets too much."
The royal made the confession following their engagement announcement
Likely referring to his mother, he said: "I'm trying to learn from lessons done in the past. I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in." Kate added: "I'm also glad I've had the time to grow and understand myself more so hopefully I'll do a good job."
During the chat, Kate described Diana as an "inspirational woman" and said both she and the rest of the royal family have "achieved a lot." However, William jumped in to reassure his fiancée that he had no doubt she would succeed in her new responsibilities.
The Prince and Princess of Wales got married in 2011
"There's no pressure though because like Kate said, it's about carving your own future and no one is trying to fill my mother's shoes – what she did is fantastic. It's about making your own future and your own destiny and Kate will do a very good job of that," he sweetly said.
Fast-forward 12 years and the couple – who are parents to three children – have become senior members of the royal family, supporting King Charles III and his wife Queen Consort Camilla following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
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