Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

How Kate and William ‘Strengthened Their Bond’ Amid Cancer Battle

How Kate and William ‘Strengthened Their Bond’ Amid Cancer Battle

For years, royal photographer Samir Hussein has been capturing images of Prince William and Princess Kate during their royal engagements. One of his favorite photos was taken on their tour of India in 2016.

“One day in Bhutan, William and Kate tried their arms at some archery,” Hussein recalled to Us in a recent interview tied to the opening of a new London exhibition called The Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition.

“Kate fired the arrow, and for a second, it looked like it was coming straight towards me. I ran out of the way but was able to grab my camera just in time to get a picture,” he continued.

“Kate was laughing her head off, and then you’ve got William by her side, and they’re both laughing,” added Hussein. “There are always little moments where you can really see the love between them.”

Such was the case at the June 15 Trooping the Colour, Kate’s first public appearance since revealing her cancer diagnosis in March. There, the pair — accompanied by their kids, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6 — appeared closer than ever as they stood shoulder to shoulder and happily waved to fans from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

“Kate was gazing at William,” a source exclusively shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “[They looked] all loved up.”

It had been six months since William, 42, and Kate, also 42, were last seen at an official royal event. As the pair stood alongside King Charles III, (who’s dealing with his own cancer diagnosis), and his wife, Queen Camilla, the source says there was a marked difference in their body language.

“William and Kate seem like a different couple! They used to be more reserved. But now, they can’t help but look at each other and smile.”

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Adjustment Period

While Kate appeared to be the picture of poise and grace, a second source says the Princess of Wales was “a bit nervous” for her return to the spotlight.

“Kate attended Trooping the Colour to support the royal family and tradition, despite personal challenges,” explains the source, noting that having William to lean on helped. “He stayed by her side and offered her reassurance. William was grateful to have Kate there, and it meant a lot to Charles too.”

The day before Trooping the Colour, the princess shared a message with her followers on social media, revealing that while she’s “making good progress” as she undergoes chemotherapy, she’s “not out of the woods” just yet.

“There are good days and bad days,” added Kate alongside a photo of herself taken under a tree on the grounds of Windsor estate near the couple’s Adelaide Cottage home. “On those bad days you feel weak, tired and you have to give in to your body resting. But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Relationship Timeline

In Her Corner

As Kate continues to heal, William has been stepping up to the plate, especially when it comes to the kids. In April, he took George to an Aston Villa soccer game, and on June 21, Charlotte joined them to attend Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stop in London.

“William’s been very hands-on lately, taking the lead in family activities and routines,” says the second source, noting that he enjoys reading the kids bedtime stories and playing sports with them. “Kate loves seeing him in this role and it’s strengthened their bond.”

William and Kate thrive when they’re on mom and dad duty. “On the days I feel well enough, it is a joy to engage with school life,” Kate said in her June 14 post, with the second source sharing that the princess is still very involved in the kids’ day-to-day lives, often cooking or doing arts and crafts with them.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

The first source says there will be “even more” family time this summer when the crew heads to Norfolk for a beach holiday. “When they’re together as a family, William and Kate are in their element,” shares the first source. “The kids bring them even closer.”

They’re also carving out quality time as a couple. According to the second source, William and Kate prioritize date nights, even if it’s just a quiet evening at home.

“They are each other’s confidants, providing emotional support,” says the source, adding that their love has only deepened in recent months. “William’s been a constant source of strength.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Sweetest Moments With Their Kids

Moving Forward

The future is beginning to look a bit brighter. The first source notes Kate’s parents’ attendance at the Royal Ascot on June 19 “is a sign that Kate is doing better.” Kate revealed she will continue treatment “for a few more months” but is starting “to do a little work from home” and hopes to “join a few public engagements over the summer.”

The second source says Kate’s been enjoying the balance that comes with having more time to take care of herself but that she’s eager to fulfill her public duties.

“Kate is passionate about mental health initiatives, children’s education and supporting health care workers,” explains the source. “She’s gradually returning to her [work] responsibilities.”

Both sources say Kate may attend Wimbledon this July. (She’s the royal patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.)

Princess Kate Through the Years: From Commoner to Future Queen Consort

“It’s not yet decided, and they’ll wait to see if she’s feeling up to it,” says the first source. “But she wouldn’t go with William. Wimbledon is just a Kate thing.”

Kate’s annual birthday post for William — a playful shot of him and the kids joyously jumping off a sand dune in Norfolk — seems like a clear sign the tide is turning in their favor and that the new William and Kate are taking things a little less seriously. “Happy birthday Papa, we all love you so much!” Kate wrote alongside the photo she took in May.

“William is so devoted to Kate and their family, and Kate loves celebrating him,” shares the first source. “They are just so in love.”

For more on William and Kate, watch the video above — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi & Andrea Simpson

By Michael

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