Continued from page 1

William stands to gain an inheritance from the queen, whose fortune was recently estimated at around 290 million pounds ($467 million) by the Sunday Times 2010 “Rich List.” The second-in-line to the British throne also got a share of his mother Diana’s nearly $34 million estate _ the bulk of which came from her divorce settlement, but it is believed much of his money is tied up in trusts.

Middleton comes from a well-off family herself but any agreement would need to ensure she is looked after, keeping up her homes and her standard of living, experts said. It would most likely be generous to ensure the prenup is not challenged as unfair after a divorce.

“They would want to make sure that things are done by the book to keep it out of the public arena,” said Brunsdon Tully.

A confidentiality clause also would be a must, Stewart added, noting that “the last thing this family would want” would be a scintillating interview _ akin to one given by Diana just before the divorce _ that exposes the royal family’s inner workings.

Kate is joining a family known as ‘The Firm,’ and every other employee of the royal household has a contract of employment which includes a fairly severe gagging clause,” Stewart noted.

Other European royals have signed prenups. Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria signed a prenuptial agreement with her husband and former personal trainer Daniel Westling that says that he would only be entitled to half of the couple’s private household possessions in a divorce _ not Victoria’s inheritance or her income.

Despite any alleged advantages, London-based celebrity divorce lawyer Raymond Tooth isn’t convinced William and Middleton will sign a contingency plan. He noted that they have known each other for a long time, saying “it’s not a whirlwind recent romance” at risk of suddenly falling apart.

Besides, Tooth thinks if a deal was signed, there would be rumors by now.

“It would have leaked out if there was one,” Tooth said. “Nothing is secret anymore.”