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Marie Claire
Marie Claire
Rachel Burchfield

Prince William—Whose Wife and Father Are Simultaneously Battling Cancer—Finds an “Unlikely” Ally Amid the Tumult

Prince William.

No matter if you’re a member of the royal family or if you’re just a normal old bloke, the thought of having your wife and your father battling cancer at the same time is absolutely jarring. Add to the mix that the Prince and Princess of Wales are raising three children 10 years old and younger, and that the entire world is watching, and Prince William is in an unimaginable pressure cooker. Going even deeper, Kate’s cancer diagnosis—though filled with optimism—no doubt triggers losing his own mother, Princess Diana, when he was just 15 years old, and how he, of course, would be shattered if the same would happen to his own children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Prince William is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders as both his wife and his father battle cancer. (Image credit: Getty Images)
In addition to that double blow, William is also coping as the eyes of the world are upon him, while raising three kids 10 years old and younger, and while surely grappling with triggers of losing his own mother, Princess Diana, at a young age. (Image credit: Getty Images)

“He lived through this with his mother when he was a young man,” Hello royals editor Emily Nash said. “And this has got to be his worst nightmare. He has done everything he can to protect his kids and his wife from this. And this situation must just be incredibly hard for him to deal with.”

Nash added, per Hello, that the current reality William is facing must be “triggering for him, especially in light of what his mother went through.”

Page Six cited a Palace source as saying that “William is doing his best. One minute he’s doing the school run and now he is under incredible stress.” Adding that William is just a heartbeat away from the throne, they added that “He’s always hated the press because of what happened to his mother and has made it no secret.” 

William's chief concern right now is protecting his family of five; the Waleses have all retreated to their country home, Anmer Hall, for a private Easter holiday together. (Image credit: Getty Images)

After years of what outlets have called “a strained relationship,” in these tumultuous times William has had Queen Camilla to lean on, as she too has a spouse battling cancer in the public eye. The two have a genuine warmth and have gotten far closer in recent months through the tumult of 2024; Tatler reports that “the two have been in regular phone contact, while the sense of solidarity between the two at the recent Commonwealth Day Service was palpable,” the outlet writes. “At the service, earlier this month and believed to have been after the Princess [of Wales]’ cancer diagnosis, the two greeted each other with a kiss and embrace. They were pictured chatting with one another, seemingly showing off their new, closer relationship.”

The bond between stepmother and stepson has been elevated to a new level as both of their spouses battle cancer. (Image credit: Getty Images)
The Queen and the Prince of Wales, seen here at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month, have been a source of support for one another. (Image credit: Getty Images)

A senior royal source told The Mirror “There is a very strong relationship between Their Majesties and the Waleses,” they said. “They are very close, even more so at the moment.”

Royal expert Jennie Bond told OK that Camilla and William have formed an “unlikely” bond through the firestorm, and that she noticed a shift in the pair’s relationship. “Recent events have obviously brought William and Camilla much closer,” she said. “They have been left, almost literally, nursing the Crown while the King and the Princess recover. Their teams will be working more closely to coordinate diaries and cover the engagements that have been planned, and Camilla and William are bound to have been in much closer regular contact.” 

William is said to have been fully supportive of the Princess of Wales' decision to release a video message announcing her cancer diagnosis last week. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Their closeness, Bond said, goes beyond just royal duties. “Apart from the business side of things, I’m sure they will have been an emotional help to one another as well,” she said. “Both will have been so worried about these unexpected health issues, and I imagine they will have shared their concerns.”

Camilla was famously the other woman in King Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana, which ended in divorce after 15 years in 1996. Charles and Camilla went on to marry nine years later in 2005. “As an adolescent, William took his time to accept Camilla as ‘the other woman’ in his father’s life,” Bond said. “His feelings t0wards her were complicated, having witnessed his mother’s unhappiness in marriage. But maturity brought with it the realization that Camilla makes his father extremely happy…and the prince [William] knows now that she is the love of his life.”

William wants his father to be with the love of his life, just as the Prince of Wales is with the love of his life, as well. (Image credit: Getty Images)
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