Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis "play a significant role" in Princess Kate's recovery

The Wales family stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony at Trooping the Colour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales is taking a step back from royal duties, as she undergoes preventative chemotherapy, confirming the news that she had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer earlier this year.

"[The diagnosis] of course came as a huge shock", the 42-year-old explained in a video health message, stating how she and Prince William had been trying "to process and manage this privately for the sake of [their] young family."

"As you can imagine, this has taken time," she continued. "It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK."

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have been a key part of their mother's support network, with royal sources reporting that the Wales children "will play a significant role" in Princess Kate's recovery.

"Hopefully Kate is getting her strength back more every day and she will be able to concentrate on making Charlotte's birthday as magical as possible in the circumstances," explained Jennie Bond, the BBC's former royal correspondent, in a recent conversation with OK!. "She'll make sure all the attention is on her daughter, and not on her. And that's quite a healthy approach. Dwelling on illness doesn't help anyone, so the children will be a significant part of Kate's recovery."

It has also been reported that George, Charlotte and Louis have been doting on their mother, with another source explaining via OK! that “they’re all going overboard to make sure [Kate] feels comfortable.”

In fact, the Wales children are even reported to be "following some new house rules" to make their mother's life easier as she recovers. These include "picking up after themselves and making their own snacks, but also making sure to wash their hands more often because Kate can't be exposed to germs while she's going through chemo." 

"George, who has always been wiser than his years, has been a real role model, especially to Charlotte," the source continued. "And she loves keeping Louis in line."

It is not known when the Princess of Wales will return to public duty.

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.