Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

In the year since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, Prince William and Princess Kate have taken on new titles and new responsibilities, all without missing a beat. It hasn’t been easy as they continue to mourn the queen’s death and deal with their lingering issues with William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, and Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle.

But they’ve done it in stride — and with a renewed commitment to each other and their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and 5-year-old Prince Louis. “William and Kate are more in sync than ever,” a palace insider tells Us. “They cherish what they have with each other. For them, family comes first, and it always will.”

According to the palace source, William and Kate, both 41, have both been deeply affected by the loss of the queen. “Her death hit them extremely hard,” says the source. “In many ways, it’s only now really sinking in that she’s gone.”

Those closest to the couple know they’ve been through the wringer. “They’re the first to admit it’s been a tough year, but everyone agrees William and Kate have done a wonderful job staying strong in the face of such adversity.”

William’s father, King Charles III, never doubted their ability to rise to the occasion — the 74-year-old royal has happily entrusted them to run the monarchy alongside him and his wife, Queen Camilla, 76. The source says William and Kate feel energized by their new roles and responsibilities, explaining, “They want to keep working with Charles and Camilla and other members of The Firm to help lead the royal family into a more modern direction.”

All of the challenges have brought William and Kate closer. “They’re in awe of each other,” says the source. “William tells anyone who will listen that he couldn’t do it without Kate, and she echoes that right back.”

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They’ve even been engaging in some PDA lately, sharing a sweet kiss at a polo match in July.“William used to be quite awkward about showing too much affection,” says the source, “but Kate’s helped him relax.”

During a recent surprise appearance on the podcast “The Good, The Bad & The Rugby,” hosted by William’s cousin Mike Tindall, the longtime couple playfully teased each other about how competitive they get. “I don’t think we’ve managed to finish a game of tennis,” Kate revealed with a laugh.

Prince William and Catherine Kate Middleton Us Weekly 2340

During King Charles III’s coronation celebrations in May, Kate and William roasted marshmallows with Charlotte, George and Louis.
Daniel Leal – WPA Pool/Getty Images

When the couple’s not busy with their royal duties, they’re enjoying quality time with the kids in Windsor, where they relocated to from London last summer. “They’ll have family nights where everyone takes turns to pick a movie,” says the source. “And they love their sports, too.”

In early September, George, Charlotte and Louis returned to Lambrook School, near the family’s home at Adelaide Cottage. Adds the source: “The kids are adapting well and making new friends.”

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William and Kate are hands-on parents “but not overbearing,” shares the source. They’re strict about limiting time spent on electronics and insist that the kids do chores like walking the dog and washing the dishes.

Says the source: “William and Kate are determined to raise the kids in as normal an environment as possible.”

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The couple commemorated the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death at St. David’s Cathedral on Sept. 8.
Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The source says William’s estrangement from Harry, 39, remains a sore spot. “William hasn’t spoken to Harry in a long time. The standoff is mutual, and it doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.”

In the December 2022 Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, Harry alleged his brother had sold him out to the U.K. press. And in his bombshell memoir, Spare, the former royal claimed William physically assaulted him during a 2019 argument over Meghan, 42, at Nottingham Cottage.

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“William is furious over all the things Harry’s said about him,” says the source, noting that the way he was portrayed in Spare “tipped him over the edge.”

Any hints of peace talks have stalled. “Even if Harry were to come crawling back with an apology, it’s hard to imagine William forgiving and forgetting,” continues the source. “The only silver lining of this situation is that it’s motivated William to keep his family unit very firmly intact.”

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Kate, William and the kids were front and center at Wimbledon on July 16.
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

William and Kate are looking forward to putting the drama of the recent past behind them. They’re enjoying their new home away from the hustle and bustle of the city. “Adelaide feels like a more serene environment for them,” explains the source.

They’re working on moving the monarchy forward while still carrying on the queen’s legacy. “William and Kate are proud to serve and help people in any way they can,” says the source. “But more than anything, they’re proud of their marriage and beautiful family.”

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