Kate Middleton’s Future Amid King Charles’ Cancer Diagnosis

The Order of the Companions of Honour is one of Great Britain’s most distinguished royal recognitions. And in an official palace announcement on April 23, King Charles appointed his “beloved daughter-in-law” Princess Kate Middleton as a Royal Companion in the order, making her the first member of the family other than the monarch ever to be part of the elite group. “And as the only Royal Companion, Kate will be expected to represent Charles at special events,” notes an exclusive In Touch source.

“This was an incredibly historic move that will change the monarchy forever.” The new title marks a big step toward her next promotion: queen. “Charles chose to honor Kate now to reward her for her resilience over these past few months as she’s battled cancer amid intense public scrutiny,” says a source, “and to show how much faith he has in her to keep calm and carry on, just as his mother did.”

The 75-year-old king has been on the job for less than two years, but has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, as In Touch first revealed. “His health is rapidly declining, so he’s getting his affairs in order and subtly making his wishes known,” says the source. “Obviously, William will become king because of the rules of succession, but Charles realizes the royal family would be nothing without Kate, so the goal is for her to take on more responsibility than anyone in her role ever has. It’s her destiny.”

Back on Her Feet

She won’t let him down. The decision to bestow this honor now, a month after Kate announced she is undergoing chemotherapy for an undisclosed type of cancer, found during abdominal surgery in January, “sends a strong message that everyone believes she’s going to recover,” says the source. Kate, 42, assured the public of as much when she announced she had begun chemotherapy, in an emotional video on March 22: “I am well and getting stronger every day.” And she is. “She’s nearing the end of her treatment, and the doctors believe she’s responding positively,” says the source, noting that William’s decision to resume his public engagements “is another good sign. He even took George to a football game in April. They wouldn’t have felt right leaving her at home for something like that if she wasn’t feeling well.”

Five months after her life saving surgery, she’s already planning her triumphant return to the public eye. “Making sure her children feel safe and secure has been and will always be Kate’s top priority,” the source says of George, 10, Charlotte, 9, and Louis, 6. “But once she’s gotten everyone back into a routine at home, she’ll likely make her official comeback.” Kate is a patron of several health-related charities, including the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, the East Anglia Children’s Hospice and NHS Charities Together, “and will likely choose something to comfort other cancer patients, such as a visit or a zoom call,” says the source.

The princess, who anonymously donated seven inches of her hair to help child cancer patients in 2017, made it clear in her video that she feels a solidarity with those who are fighting similar battles. “For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope,” she said, sitting in front of a field of daffodils, which traditionally symbolize hope for cancer patients. “You are not alone.”

Ready to Rule

It was the kind of message befitting someone in her position. “Making that video was incredibly difficult, but it was telling that she ended it on a selfless note of service,” says the source. “Elizabeth would have been so proud of her. And Charles definitely is. It gives him great comfort to know that she and William are prepared to take the throne.” She’s been training for this her entire adult life. Thrown into the spotlight after catching William’s eye at 19, Kate “learned early on to exercise remarkable discretion and composure,” says the source. “And in two decades, she has rarely made a misstep. She always toes the family line.”

She had a good teacher in the late queen. “Kate followed Elizabeth’s lead in every way and has vowed to honor her legacy,” says the source. “But Kate has also managed to subtly but firmly modernize the way things are done at the Firm, without ruffling feathers like the late Princess Diana and Meghan Markle did. She’s a natural.” Her first order of business as queen will be to show unity.

“She could reach out to Prince Harry in an attempt to make peace in the family,” says the source, adding that while Kate and Meghan will “never be on warm terms, Kate is determined to be civil. It’s exactly how Elizabeth handled things. There’s no place for petty behavior or personal grudges when you reach that level, because you’re literally representing the institution.” And she’s the key to its survival. “Charles realizes that the public’s support has started to wane since his mother died,” says the source. “He also knows how much everyone loves Kate. The future of the monarchy depends on her.”

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