British Royal Family

Prince William is stepping up while Kate Middleton recovers in hospital

''Family comes first.''
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A “completely rocked” Prince William is trying to keep stoic for his family and has “vowed to not leave Kate’s side”, as the Princess of Wales continues to battle a mystery illness in hospital, a royal source tells Woman’s Day.

“This has been a huge wake-up call for him, seeing her so vulnerable. Normally she’s the rock-solid strong one who’s always got his back. No one ever expects to be enduring long hospital stays in their 40s,” a source tells of William, who is fitting the school run in around hospital visits to see Kate.

Hospitals are not fun but Kate is in the lap of luxury.

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Issuing a media statement on Thursday, Kensington Palace revealed that Kate, 42, is in hospital recovering after “planned surgery” to treat an unspecified but non-cancerous abdominal condition.

Abiding by Kate’s desire to “maintain as much normality for her children as possible”, the palace will “only provide updates on her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share”.

Abdominal surgery is a broad term, but according to medical experts often involves treating diseases, conditions or injuries to the stomach, bowels, liver, gallbladder or pancreas.

While the operation, which she underwent last Tuesday was deemed successful, Kate is expected to stay in their care for 10 to 14 days, and “based on current medical advice” is to rest and recuperate at home in Windsor for two to three months, meaning it is unlikely she will return to royal duties until after Easter.

The prince is putting on a brave face in front of the children, despite being racked with worry for Kate.

(Credit: Getty)

Royal insiders say Kate’s recovery time is indicative enough to know her condition is serious, despite the statement’s cavalier tone, and is said to have shaken up the royal family, particularly William and their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five.

“The children are missing her being at home, especially Louis, but William’s being incredibly strong, considering everything on his plate,” the insider adds, noting his father, King Charles‘ planned surgery to treat an enlarged prostate later this month.

Will has also officially postponed a slew of royal engagements as well as overseas travel so he can focus on taking care of Kate and their children.

The insider spills that Prince George has also been stepping up to help his father out by “taking charge of his siblings while his mum is in hospital”.

“He’s taking the lead from his dad and knows he’s helping him by keeping Charlotte and Louis out of trouble.

Charles, Kate and William will all scale back their duties for a while.

(Credit: Getty)

“He’s been a hero and has them all making ‘get well’ cards and picking out small gifts and books to take to her when they’re visiting.”

The source says that while Kate’s illness has frightened all three of the kids, “George has very sweetly promised his mum and dad to look after Charlotte and Louis”.

“He’s a good kid and already proving to be an invaluable member of the family.”

Knowing her family are OK will only help Kate’s recovery, with sources saying that while she’s exhausted, she’s “on fighting form and is determined to wow all her doctors and nurses with an early departure”.

“She can’t wait to be home, but she knows she has to focus on her health first. There’s a reason air stewards tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first – she’s no use to anyone until she’s safely back on her feet, in her own time.”

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