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Prince William Feels ‘Helpless and Scared’ as Kate Middleton’s Cancer Battle Continues (Exclusive)

Princess Kate Middleton was the picture of poise and grace as she bravely revealed her cancer diagnosis to the world in a video shared on March 22. “It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me,” said the mom of three from a bench on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

“I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits,” she added, noting that her husband, Prince William, has been “a great source of comfort and reassurance.”

The beloved royal had undergone successful abdominal surgery in mid-January when follow-up tests discovered the cancer. Kate — who said she’s in the “early stages” of preventative chemotherapy — was devastated when doctors told her the news, but the hands-on mom has been doing everything in her power to stay strong for her three young children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and 5-year-old Prince Louis. “She tires easily,” a source says of Kate, “but she’s been trying to spend as much time with her kids as she can.”

Kate’s message finally put months of speculation to bed. Though Kensington Palace had announced she wouldn’t return to her royal duties until after Easter, the rumor mill went into overdrive during her public absence. Conspiracy theories — and talk that Kate and William, 41, were having marital issues — ran rampant and only amplified when Kate released a digitally altered photo on March 10, U.K. Mother’s Day. (She later apologized for experimenting with photo editing.)

Kate Middleton Us Weekly Cover 2415 No Chips
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All the while, the couple was privately reeling. “Kate was shocked when they found the cancer and in shock for a while after,” says the source, adding that the princess and William “were not ready for the diagnosis.” The couple has been trying to process the news in their own time. “The day the family found out was the day William canceled going to the memorial of his godfather King Constantine of Greece,” shares a second source. (On February 27, William pulled out of the service at the last minute due to a “personal matter.”)

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Through everything, Kate’s No. 1 priority has been her children. She and William put off making a formal announcement about her health condition until discussing it with the kids first. “They wanted to wait to tell the world the news until their children were off school for Easter break,” explains the second source, “so they could have time to process it before the whole world was talking about it.”

Cancer Video Kate Middleton Us Weekly 2415

Since marrying into the royal family in 2011, Kate has been embraced by the public and widely celebrated for her elegance and class. She’s the steady, unwavering backbone of the monarchy, as well as a warm and relatable working mom. “Even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not, nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother,” she’s said. “It’s full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.” She’s a longtime advocate of mental health and has made early childhood development and education a huge focus of her work.

Support is pouring in from every corner of the globe, including Hollywood. “Wales and the World is with you. Love to you always,” Welsh-born actress Catherine Zeta-Jones wrote on In
stagram. “A pillar of grace and strength! Sending love,” Gwyneth Paltrow said in a comment on Kate’s official Instagram page. “Thank you for showing what it’s like to fight with grace and determination for yourself and for your family,” Olivia Munn, who recently went public with her own cancer battle, wrote on social media. Blake Lively apologized for poking fun at Kate’s edited Mother’s Day photo in an Instagram Story, writing, “I made a silly post around the ‘photoshop fails’ frenzy, and oh man, that post has me mortified today. I’m sorry.”

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She’s leaning on William more than ever. “William is trying to be there for Kate and helping in every way he can,” says the first source. “He’s been doing schoolwork with the kids and spending time with them in the afternoons and evenings.” While the couple have employed Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo as their nanny since 2014, Kate and William are involved in every aspect of the kids’ lives. According to the source, the children are coping as well as can be expected. “They know their mother is sick and is trying to get better,” says the source.

Family Kate Middleton Us Weekly 2415

It hasn’t been easy for the future king. The source says William feels “helpless and scared” and has been asking other members of the family to fill in for him so he can be present at home. It can be a tough ask as the royals are stretched thin lately: In early February, Buckingham Palace announced that William’s father, King Charles III, 75, was receiving treatment for cancer following a planned procedure for an enlarged prostate; Charles’ wife, Queen Camilla, 76, has also been picking up the slack for her ailing husband.

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Kate’s tackling her recovery with the same steely resolve as she does everything else. “My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now, I must focus on making a full recovery,” she explained in her 
video message. (She and William — who have 
been staying at their Norfolk country home — will not be attending traditional Easter services on March 31.) Says the first source: “Kate has been working from home, but she is unsure when she will feel ready to step out. It’s up to her when it comes to getting back in the public eye.”

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