Amid Kate Middleton's Cancer Treatment, 'Positive Vibes' and 'Optimistic Mood' Prevail, Close Source Says (Exclusive)

A source tells PEOPLE that Prince William is staying upbeat for his wife and their kids

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty </p> Kate Middleton on Oct. 5, 2022

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Kate Middleton on Oct. 5, 2022

Kate Middleton is outside of the public eye while receiving cancer treatment, but a close source says there’s a palpable sense of "positive vibes" and an "optimistic mood."

All the while, Prince William has been steadfastly there for his wife since she announced the diagnosis on March 22.

"William is staying positive for Kate and the children," a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story.

Nevertheless, the social media conspiracy theories and rumors around Princess Kate’s health following her abdominal surgery in January left Prince William feeling frustrated. The Prince of Wales, 41, was "upset and angry" about the intense speculation, according to a former staffer, who says that the future king has managed to "compartmentalize it."

<p>Prince William's Private Struggle</p>

Prince William's Private Struggle

Related: Prince William Cheers on Favorite Team in Surprise Outing: He's 'Buoyed' by Soccer amid Trying Times, Says Source

As Prince William looks to the future, he refuses to dwell on worst-case scenarios.

"Kate is going to get better, and he is all about helping her to get there," says a source close to the royal household.

Though there is no update yet on whether the Princess of Wales, 42, will attend upcoming royal events like Trooping the Colour in June, both she and William have found solace in the supportive responses they’ve received from across the country following her diagnosis, according to a family friend. Remaining upbeat for the public is vital for the Prince of Wales, and he’s facing this test head-on.

Princess Kate’s health, which she has not elaborated on in terms of cancer type, presents the most significant challenge Prince William has faced this year. In February, he navigated the cancer diagnosis of his father, King Charles, while speculation swirled about his wife’s public absence during her surgery recovery.

<p>Lesley Martin - Pool/Getty</p> From left: Kate Middleton, Prince William, King Charles and Queen Camilla on July 5, 2023 in Scotland

Lesley Martin - Pool/Getty

From left: Kate Middleton, Prince William, King Charles and Queen Camilla on July 5, 2023 in Scotland

Related: Kate Middleton and Prince William Mark 13th Anniversary with Stunning Never-Before-Seen Photo from Wedding

In March, the online attention hit a fever pitch with the editing of a Mother’s Day photo. The picture taken by Prince William of Princess Kate with Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6, was pulled by multiple news agencies due to suspicions of manipulation, prompting amateur photographer Kate to release a statement saying she does "experiment with editing" and apologizing for "any confusion."

These episodes have made the first months of the year some of the most difficult of William’s life, as he balances being an emotional support for his wife and children while continuing his vital role in the monarchy.

"Whether you’re a prince or a pauper, no one would expect anything like this with his father and his wife both being treated for cancer," a royal insider says. "William is digging deep."

The Prince of Wales has gradually resumed public duties, sharing updates along the way with well-wishers. The royal reassured a volunteer at a food distribution charity on April 18 that he would take care of Kate and told a woman in Newcastle on April 30, "We’re all doing well."

<p>Ian Forsyth/Getty</p> Prince William speaks with well wishers after he visits James' Place Newcastle on April 30, 2024

Ian Forsyth/Getty

Prince William speaks with well wishers after he visits James' Place Newcastle on April 30, 2024

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According to a family friend, William is relying heavily on what another close pal refers to as the "nuclear family unit" of his immediate family of five and Kate’s supportive family: her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings Pippa and James. Insiders also say that Prince William has also developed a closer bond with his father.

As for Princess Kate, "You can let down your barriers when it’s your mother," the royal insider says. Close to Carole himself, William took her to a country pub near their Anmer Hall home over the Easter holiday.

"I imagine he is leaning on them really hard," the royal insider adds.

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