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Royal Historian Doesn’t Think Prince William Was ‘Emotionally Prepared’ for Family Health Crisis (Exclusive)

While Prince William has long been trained to lead the royal family, no one could’ve anticipated he’d need to step in for King Charles III so soon into the monarch’s reign.

“Maybe he wasn’t emotionally prepared for it,” royal historian Gareth Russell exclusively told Us Weekly while discussing William stepping up amid Charles and Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer battles. “[Charles] — yes, is elderly — but his father was famously quite healthy and lives well, eats well, and according to his wife, Queen Camilla, just never stops walking.”

Russell noted that there’s “a lot” on the Prince of Wales’ plate, including the D-Day remembrance.

“I think they were very keen that as senior a royal as possible would go … I think the hope was the king would go,” he said. “Whilst that is — it’s a huge event, it’s a huge commemoration, there’ll be many eyes on him — that is the heir to the throne’s job, and it certainly should be something that he is prepared to do.”

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Russell added that “so far” William has shown himself to be “more than competent and capable” in doing so.

“Certainly when it comes to something of the emotional significance of the D-Day commemorations to many people in Britain and in America, you do want someone there who is prepared and capable to fulfill the ceremonial role,” he said.

Royal Historian Doesn’t Think Prince William Was ‘Emotionally Prepared’ for Family Health Crisis
Andrew Parsons/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

At the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Wednesday, June 5, William, 41, said that Kate, 42, is “getting better” as she undergoes preventative chemotherapy. “She’d have loved to be here,” he added while speaking to veterans.

The update comes as William continues with his royal duties while Kate focuses on her health. After questions swirled regarding Kate’s whereabouts earlier this year, the Princess of Wales announced in March that she had been diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer.

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“We hope that you’ll understand that as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment,” Kate said in her video. “My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I’m able. But for now, I must focus on making a full recovery.”

William, who’s first in line to the throne, has been feeling the pressure as both his wife and the King, 75, receive treatment for their respective cancer battles. (Buckingham Palace announced in February that Charles received a cancer diagnosis after he was admitted to The London Clinic to undergo treatment for an enlarged prostate.)

“It’s been stressful,” a source exclusively told Us in April. “William feels a profound sense of duty to uphold the monarchy’s stability and inspire confidence in the public that everything will be OK. It’s an immense responsibility.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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