Now That Princess Kate Is Home from Hospital, Prince William Is Waiting On Her “Hand and Foot,” Royal Expert Says

“He’s a modern man.”

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend a ceremonial welcome for The President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea at Horse Guards Parade on November 21, 2023 in London, England
(Image credit: Getty)

We already know that, at least in the past, Prince William used to bring his wife Princess Kate a gin and tonic every night before bed. Now William’s caretaking skills have upped to an entirely different level post-Kate’s abdominal surgery, which happened just over two weeks ago on January 16. After being discharged from The London Clinic and returning home to Adelaide Cottage on Monday, William is waiting on Kate “hand and foot,” OK reports, after he too paused his royal duties to attend to the needs of his wife of nearly 13 years.

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Scotland

William will be Kate's chief caregiver after she returned home from The London Clinic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Like any family, it’s always wonderful when a loved one is able to come back home,” said former royal butler Grant Harrold. “I’m sure the kids are really excited to have Kate back.” He added that her return “will also be great for William, because when your partner or your loved one isn’t home, it leaves a void. The fact that Kate is back home, behind closed doors, it’ll mean they’re able to return to some sense of normality.”

Kate has been under the close watch of The London Clinic’s staff, but now Harrold said that William will wait on his wife “hand and foot”: “He’s a very caring, very loving kind of character, and I noticed that a lot when I spent time with them both back in the day,” Harrold said. “I’ve no doubt that wouldn’t have changed. William will make sure Kate is cared for and that she has a quick recovery.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton at a royal engagement

Kate was discharged Monday and returned home to Adelaide Cottage almost two weeks after undergoing abdominal surgery

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Kate isn’t expected to return to public life until at least April, William’s return date is unknown, though he has made it clear that Kate and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are his top priority.

“The sooner her recovery, I’m sure the sooner the pair will get back to carrying out their royal duties together, which is something that I think they enjoy,” Harrold said, adding that the couple appreciates “their working life together.”

Of a return to normalcy, “I think they’ll be keen to get back to normal with it,” he said. “There won’t be a huge team there on hand. It’ll be her husband, who’ll mainly be doing that—helping her to get back onto her feet.”

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis together

William and Kate have made it very clear that nothing is more important to them than family

(Image credit: Getty)

William’s approach is a break from tradition, said royal biographer Robert Hardman (and per OK). “I mean, in years gone by, if a senior member of the [royal] family was ill, their spouse would not drop everything,” he said. “They’d carry on, and the children would be left with the nanny or nannies.”

While the Wales kids do have a nanny, Maria Teresa Borrallo, William has made it clear he doesn’t want everything to fall to her. “This time, Prince William has made a very conscious decision he’s going to step back from his duties,” Hardman said. “He’s putting the family first, and he’s doing that for a very specific reason. Everything [William] does is about normalizing royal life [and] normalizing just trying to make everything as unobtrusive for the kids as possible so that being a sort of school-age royal is not something that’s scary. So, if mom’s in hospital, he knows he’s got to be there. Otherwise, it’s unsettling for the children if both parents are out of the house. He’s being a modern dad.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Earthshot Prize Awards

William is approaching his role as Prince of Wales drastically differently than any have in the past

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hardman added “We know they are a very tight family unit, and he wants to be there for them,” he said on GB News. “So much of what they do with those kids is about normalizing life and not making them feel like they are in a special gilded cage.”

Royal expert Ingrid Seward added that “William is incredibly supportive as a husband. It’s pretty unusual for the Prince of Wales to cancel engagements because his wife isn’t well—that certainly wouldn’t have happened in the past—but he’s a modern man whose family is more important to him than anything else.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.