INGRID SEWARD From doting dad on the daily school run to stepping up as key royal, Prince William is a pillar of strength for Kate

Diana nurtured the philanthropic side of her son

STEADFAST when his family needed him, William has proved himself as a man and future monarch of strength and compassion.

While he might not have been present during Kate’s courageous video address on Friday — make no mistake, he has been by her side every step of the way.

Prince William has proved himself as a man and future monarch of strength and compassion
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Prince William has proved himself as a man and future monarch of strength and compassionCredit: Splash

Kate, William, George, Charlotte and Louis last Christmas
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Kate, William, George, Charlotte and Louis last ChristmasCredit: Getty
William has stepped up with school run duties and provided a “great source of comfort and reassurance” to his wife.

But he has also been a comforting and reassuring presence for the public.

From leading members of the Royal Family at the Commonwealth Day Service to enjoying cheerful banter with youngsters on a youth centre visit, he hasn’t put a foot wrong.

Just this week he visited Sheffield to highlight his Homewards project to end homelessness in the UK.

Even then there were few chinks in his facade — but Kate was clearly on his mind.

“She needs to be sat here to hear this,” he smiled, when the discussion turned to the challenges of young families.

But ultimately he is only human.

To have your father and your wife diagnosed with cancer within such quick succession is heart-shattering.

It’s a remarkable insight into the character of this young man that he has been so incredibly brave.

Theirs is a very private turmoil which has been brought into the public arena by nature of their roles as future King and Queen.

William must feel the weight of enormous responsibility, both personally and for the monarchy, of which he is now the public face.

But he knows his most important role is that of dad and husband.

He will make that his priority.

This is a distinct difference from the ways of the past, where your royal role came before the role of spouse and parent.

Think back to when the Queen was young.

WILLS’ PRIORITY

It was a man’s world then — and she was forced to abandon her children in a way that William is determined not to.

William and Kate waited until the school term was over and their children were home before making their public announcement.

They needed to be prepared.

In this, they will have had the wholehearted support of Charles — who knows what it feels like to be brought up by nannies.

William was also acutely aware of the lack of his own father’s presence in his life, especially when things went wrong.

In 1991, he was accidentally hit over the head with a golf club when he was at school and Diana was having lunch in her favourite restaurant San Lorenzo.

The call came through that William had been bashed on the head and they thought he might die so it was very serious.

William receives a personalised Wrexham shirt from club chairman Rob McElhenney
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William receives a personalised Wrexham shirt from club chairman Rob McElhenneyCredit: Getty

William with Camilla at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month
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William with Camilla at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey earlier this monthCredit: Reuters
Both Charles and Diana rushed down to Ludgrove.

William was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital and then to Great Ormond Street Hospital and Diana went with him.

But ever a man of duty, Charles prioritised his engagements.

William is determined to do things differently.

Indeed we now know he pulled out of the memorial service for the former King Constantine of Greece back in February.

RALLYING AROUND WILLS

Kensington Palace initially said it was because of a “personal matter”, but it has now been confirmed this was because of Kate’s diagnosis.

While he might seem increasingly isolated in this ever slimmed down monarchy, William is not alone.

The Middletons have been rallying around him.

Right from the start Carol and Michael took him under their wing.

He spent weekends with them, he went on holidays with them, he even called Michael “Dad”.

They will be there for him now more than ever.

He also has the support of the “red aunts” — the formerly flame-haired Baroness Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale — who are privately supporting the couple.

Diana nurtured the philanthropic side of her son, and was proud of the fact that he was incredibly sensitive to people’s feelings

Ingrid Seward

And he shares a close relationship with the Tindalls, Aunt Anne and Peter Phillips.

There is genuine family support there.

It is, however, deeply sad he appears as estranged from his brother as ever.

Harry discovered Kate’s cancer diagnosis with the rest of the world on Friday, which says everything about the state of their relationship.

What a shame that William doesn’t have the support of his brother at this trying time.

If Harry wants to support him then he will need to prove his loyalty.

Kate must still be very hurt by the accusations that have been hurled at her by the Sussexes.

DIANA’S NURTURE

But now she needs to focus on her world, not theirs. William will draw on characteristics nurtured by his mother.

Diana nurtured the philanthropic side of her son, and was proud of the fact that he was incredibly sensitive to people’s feelings.

Her influence will help him now. She taught him about healing.

I understand she took William to see soothsayer Rita Rogers as a child.

His father also has a strong spiritual side — and will be bound to be talking to Kate about eating the right foods and the importance of meditation.

I hope that all this will help William draw on all the strength he needs for these worrying times.

William concentrates before throwing a basket ball during his visit to WEST, the new OnSide Youth Zone in London
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William concentrates before throwing a basket ball during his visit to WEST, the new OnSide Youth Zone in LondonCredit: AP

William poses for a selfie at his Homewards project to end homelessness in the UK
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William poses for a selfie at his Homewards project to end homelessness in the UKCredit: PA
He will also be lifted, as Kate has, by all the messages of support from the public. It’s been more of a flood than an outpouring.

Everyone’s lives have been touched by cancer — this hits home.

While William will put his family first, he also knows that he is now the most prominent face of the Royal Family.

There are parallels with his grandmother — who was very young when she stepped up because her father, King George, was ill.

As her father grappled with lung cancer and other ailments, the young Princess Elizabeth represented her father at Trooping The Colour.

She became the young, public face of the Royal Family in the way that William is now.

So there are clear echoes of history here.

And much like his grandmother before him, he is doing an admirable job.

Ingrid Seward is the editor in chief of Majesty magazine.

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