The Princess of Wales is navigating a challenging path after serious abdominal surgery
As Kate Middleton recovers following abdominal surgery, there is confidence in her resilience.
“It does sound serious with the length of time [she’s taking]. But she is in great hands and will have lots of care and support at home and is a fit young woman,” a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “I am sure she will bounce back.”
The Princess of Wales, 42, is embarking on a long recovery after having “planned abdominal surgery” at the private London Clinic on Jan. 16, which was announced by Kensington Palace the following day. The statement said that Princess Kate would remain hospitalized for “10 to 14 days, before returning home to continue her recovery” and that it would be unlikely for her to “return to public duties until after Easter.”
The palace has not disclosed the nature of her condition but has stated it is noncancerous. A former patient who had abdominal surgery at the London Clinic tells PEOPLE that the Princess of Wales is in good care there.
“The physical therapists are amazing, helping you recover and get back on your feet. After abdominal surgery, you need a lot of patience, and it’s a bit scary at first,” says the insider, who was treated at the London Clinic last June.
Planned visits to Rome and an overseas military base have been postponed, with foreign travel deferred for the coming months. Once back home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, Princess Kate will find the space and privacy needed for healing. She can also lean on her husband, Prince William, and her close-knit family.
“It is sensible to take the time,” says the source close to the royal household. “That is a great example to the rest of us, as you’re often told to get back to work as soon as possible, which can be damaging. It is good for all of us to see her taking the time, recovering properly and then coming back. We can all learn from that."
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Prince William is expected to postpone some engagements to be by his wife’s side and support their family. A close family friend says the couple doesn’t have “a huge private staff,” and “as a result, William is really hands-on” with his children.
“He doesn’t want any mistakes made with the next generation. He wants to give them a proper upbringing and lots of love. That is foremost in his mind,” the friend says.
Royal biographer Robert Hardman adds, “They are a modern royal couple. There would have been more delegation [in the past]. He doesn’t want to leave it all to the nanny.”
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