Carole Middleton: The quiet driving force keeping Kate and William’s family together after cancer diagnosis

Exclusive: Princess of Wales’s mother praised for playing vital role behind scenes

Tara Cobham
Thursday 28 March 2024 09:13 GMT
Princess Kate announces cancer diagnosis
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Carole Middleton has been the crucial bond holding the Waleses together following Kate’s cancer diagnosis, a source close to the family has revealed.

The mother-of-three has been praised for playing a vital role behind the scenes for the Prince and Princess of Wales during what has been one of the royal family’s most turbulent periods in recent times.

A source close to the Middletons told The Independent: “Carole has been the driving force keeping the family together with minimum fuss and maximum modesty.

“She’s ferried and fetched George, Louis and Charlotte, taken them to school sports matches and given them endless support. She’s been a real Mary Poppins-like figure.”

Carole Middleton has been the quiet driving force holding the Windsors together in the wake of her daughter’s shock cancer diagnosis, sources close to the Middletons have revealed (Getty Images)

The source described Carole, 69, who in 1987 founded Party Pieces, a company selling supplies for children’s parties, as having provided the young family with the “three R’s”. They said: “She’s come to the rescue, provided reassurance, and has been a rock to Catherine and William as they come to terms with the news.”

The Independent understands Carole has stepped up mothering duties by taking her grandchildren - Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - to school and, alongside her husband Michael, is immune from family politics and free to provide support wherever required.

The source added: “Her actions are in huge contrast to those mouthing support from afar.”

Although it is understood Carole was among the first to learn of Kate’s diagnosis, the princess released a heartfelt video message on Friday disclosing to the public that she has been undergoing preventative chemotherapy – sparking an outpouring of sympathy from around the world.

Prince Harry reportedly reached out from his home in California, while he and his wife Meghan offered words of support, saying: “We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.”

The King, meanwhile, is said to be “proud” of his “beloved” daughter-in-law for her “courage” in speaking about her treatment, only a month after he revealed that he had been diagnosed with the disease.

Charles, whose cancer was discovered when he was being treated for an enlarged prostate, has remained in close contact with her during their treatment.

The Prince and Princess of Wales with their children Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte

With the head of state and the future queen both receiving treatment for undisclosed forms of cancer, the royal family faces an uncertain period - but the monarchy is expected to rally around those at the heart of the institution, with Carole providing a source of unwavering support.

Kensington Palace said on Saturday that the princess is “enormously touched” by the messages of support that have been flooding in.

Kate is said to have a positive mindset over her recovery and is in good spirits, describing herself as “well and getting stronger every day” as she requested privacy for her family during her convalescence.

After tests following abdominal surgery, she underwent in January were positive for cancer, the princess and her husband chose to share the news once their children began their Easter school holidays to shield them from intense coverage of their mother’s health.

The princess released a heartfelt video message on Friday disclosing to the public that she has been undergoing preventative chemotherapy (Independent TV)

The announcement has gone some way to ending weeks of frenzied speculation and conspiracy theories about the whereabouts and health of the 42-year-old, who had only been spotted in public three times since her operation. In the first of three sightings near Windsor Castle in March, the princess was snapped driving with her mother.

Rumours online about Kate intensified after William missed, at very short notice, the memorial service of his godfather the late King Constantine of Greece on 27 February due to a personal matter. It has now emerged that the prince pulled out of the event following his wife’s positive test.

Further speculation was triggered when the princess admitted to “editing” her official family Mother’s Day photograph after multiple international news agencies withdrew the picture.

Another development saw an investigation launched by the UK’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, into allegations there were attempts to access Kate’s private medical records at the London Clinic where she underwent her surgery.

Carole Middleton with her husband Michael (PA Wire)

It is not known how long Kate will be receiving treatment, but it is understood she may be keen to attend events as and when she feels able to, in line with medical advice, although this will not indicate a return to full-time duties.

William will continue to balance supporting his wife and family and maintaining his official duties as he has done since her operation.

The prince is due to return to public duties after his children return to school following the Easter break, but the Waleses will not be joining other royals for the traditional Easter service at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.

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