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Prince William Is ‘Normalizing Royal Life’ for Kids as Kate Middleton Recovers Post-Surgery (Exclusive)

Prince William is a “modern dad,” prioritizing raising his and wife Princess Kate Middleton’s three children while she recovers from abdominal surgery.

“I mean, in years gone by, if a senior member of the [royal] family was ill, their spouse would not drop everything. They’d carry on, and the children would be left with the nanny or nannies. And this time, Prince William has made a very conscious decision he’s going to step back from his duties,” royal expert Robert Hardman exclusively told Us Weekly, while discussing his new biography The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy. “He’s putting the family first, and he’s doing that for a very specific reason.”

According to Hardman, William, 41, is focused on “normalizing” his kids’ lives despite being members of the royal family. The Prince of Wales and Kate, 42, share three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis.

Kensington Palace confirmed earlier this month that Kate recently underwent a planned abdominal surgery and canceled her upcoming public appearances to recover. William, who married Kate in 2011, subsequently backed out of his own official outings to support their family.

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“Everything [William] does is about normalizing royal life [and] normalizing just trying to make everything as unobtrusive for the kids as possible so that being a sort of school-age royal is not something that’s scary,” Hardman told Us. “So if Mum’s in hospital, he knows he’s got to be there. Otherwise, it’s unsettling for the children if both parents are out of the house. He’s being a modern dad.”

Prince William Is Normalizing Royal Life for Kids as Kate Middleton Recovers Post Surgery Expert
Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales and Prince William, Prince of Wales. Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

With William and Kate both pausing their royal duties, Hardman noted that the monarchy is going through a challenging time. William’s father, King Charles III, underwent surgery on Friday, January 26, after being diagnosed with an enlarged prostate.

“I think it is clearly a challenge for the monarchy. It is a much smaller working unit than it used to be [and] three of the main players are out of action at the moment,” Hardman said. “I think the monarchy will do what it’s always done, which is to adapt. I mean, it has to be agile. That has to change.”

Hardman further explained that the monarchy had previously shown a “capacity to adapt” during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

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“Queen [Elizabeth II] and the family found new ways of approaching the job and actually it became a great ally and then great asset during those difficult months of lockdown,” he told Us. “So, they’ll find a way.”

Hardman also noted that Charles’ cousins — the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duchess of Gloucester, respectively — also carry out “supportive roles” at official events, and will likely continue to do so for the time being.

“They’re in their 70s and 80s, so they’re not going to be doing those sort of duties for very much longer,” Hardman said. “And at the same time, you haven’t really got any new recruits coming through for a good 15 years maybe. I mean, there’s no rush to push little Prince George into royal duties any sooner than he’s ready for them. So, the monarchy’s going to have to cut its cloth accordingly.”

Hardman has authored several books about the royal family. In The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, he specifically analyzes the coronation of Charles, 75, after he assumed the throne in 2022.

This is an extraordinary moment in royal history [and] British history as well. And I think it needs to be properly chronicled,” he said of the book, which is available now. “But given that I was sort of in and around the story at the time, because I wanted to film some of this for a documentary, I thought, ‘Well, if I’m filming a documentary, I might as well write a book too.’ Then there was actually a lot more material for the book than for the film, because obviously with a film you can only film what’s in front of you.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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