Meghan Markle had to rehearse being kidnapped by a terrorist in a terrifying training session after she received a huge number of threats.
The Duchess of Sussex had to undergo the customary royal security training even before she married Prince Harry because there were extra concerns for her safety.
Finding Freedom, a biography of the couple that was published today, details how Meghan completed an "intense" two-day security course at SAS headquarters in Hereford.
The training is mandatory for all senior members of the Royal Family, except the Queen.
It provides preparation for "all high-risk security scenarios, including kidnapping, hostage situations, and terrorist attacks", the book's authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durant explain.
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From the sounds of things it was a challenging experience, even for a professional actress.
"Meghan took part in a staged kidnapping, where she was bundled into the back of a car by a 'terrorist', taken to a different location, and then 'saved' by officers firing fake guns (the kind used in Hollywood filming) for realism," the book says.
Charm and good manners may come in handy to a royal caught up in a dangerous situation like being kidnapped, as Meghan reportedly found out.
"During the mock kidnapping, Meghan was even taught to develop a relationship with the enemy," the book claims.
"She was also instructed on how to drive a car while in pursuit.
Meghan and Harry 'Find Freedom'
"A source said it was an 'extremely intense and scary' experience for Meghan, but one that she was grateful to have gone through."
Harry's fiancée wasn't yet part of the Royal Family when she completed the course, which was unusual timing compared to how Kate Middleton had done things — but there's a good reason.
"Kate didn't undergo her training until after her wedding to William, but Meghan's took place earlier, as the couple had received an unusually high number of threats," Finding Freedom says.
"'There have been some absolutely terrifying and stomach-churning threats made to Meghan since she started dating Harry,' an aide said. 'Unfortunately, they continued for some time.'"
Harry and Meghan even received a chilling death threat about their wedding day in May 2018, when an email sent to Prince Andrew 12 days beforehand claimed a bomb would go off at Windsor Castle.
Thankfully the threat did not materialise, and Leicester man Mohammad Jibra-Eel Saleh was found guilty of malicious communications and detained in a hospital.
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