Prince William Is 'Digging Deep' amid Kate Middleton and King Charles' Cancer Diagnoses, Insider Says

As Kate Middleton and King Charles undergo cancer treatment, Prince William shoulders significant responsibility while steadfastly fulfilling his royal duties

Published Time: 09.05.2024 - 22:31:18 Modified Time: 09.05.2024 - 22:31:18

As Kate Middleton and King Charles undergo cancer treatment, Prince William shoulders significant responsibility while steadfastly fulfilling his royal duties.

"Whether you're a prince or a pauper, no one would expect anything like this with his father and his wife both being treated for cancer," a royal insider tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story "William is digging deep."

The Prince of Wales, 41, has had a challenging start to the year following the social media firestorm that followed Princess Kate’s absence from the public eye following abdominal surgery in January and controversy regarding the editing of a U.K. Mother’s Day photo taken by Prince William, which prompted an apology from Kate for "any confusion."

Coupled with the cancer diagnosis of his father King Charles and Princess Kate’s announcement of her own cancer treatment, a diagnosis she said was identified following the surgery, these episodes have collectively made the first months of 2024 some of the most difficult of William’s life.

As he treads the tightrope of duty to his young family and to that of his country (he returned to work in April and has continued to step out since), the Prince of Wales is focused on supporting his wife.

"For William, everything hinges on Kate’s well-being," says royal biographer Ingrid Seward, author of My Mother and I. The family-first mantra that has guided the Prince and Princess of Wales throughout their 13-year marriage is now more important to him than ever, especially as his kids need him the most.

"William is prioritizing giving her all the time she needs to get better and the support, particularly to the children," a close source says. 

As William and Kate move forward, they remain committed to maintaining a sense of normalcy for their kids, keeping to routines at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor and t -

heir country home Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. 

According to a family friend, Prince William "is not leaning on too many others" during this time, but rather relies heavily on what another close pal refers to as the "nuclear family unit" of his family of five and Princess Kate’s supportive family: her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings Pippa and James.

Another close pal says the Prince of Wales is relying heavily on the "nuclear family unit" of his immediate family of five and Kate’s supportive family: her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings Pippa and James. Insiders add that Prince William has also developed a closer bond with his father King Charles.

Close to Carole himself, Prince William took his mother-in-law to a country pub near their Anmer Hall home in Norfolk over the Easter holiday.

"I imagine he is leaning on them really hard," the royal insider says. 

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The heir to the throne has gradually resumed public duties, sharing updates along the way with well-wishers. William reassured a volunteer at a food distribution charity on April 18 that he would take care of Kate and told a woman in Newcastle on April 30 "We’re all doing well."

Friends and palace insiders say that while the health crises have brought Prince William’s royal destiny as King to the forefront, "it won’t have suddenly made him think more about the future role," as one puts it. 

"That’s something he has thought about for years, if not decades," they explain. 

William "has lived a life knowing and preparing that there would be a lot on his shoulders," says a close source.

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