Advertisement

Kate Middleton's 'Empathy' Stood Out During Her Cancer Announcement: 'She Is a Very Giving Person' (Exclusive)

Tim Lawler, the chief executive of SportsAid who has accompanied Kate on outings over the last decade, says she mentioned advice she gives others in her mental health mission

<p>Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton visits Sportsaid on Oct. 12, 2023

Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton visits Sportsaid on Oct. 12, 2023

Kate Middleton's mental strength in her video address to announce her cancer diagnosis came as no surprise to someone who has worked alongside her.

The Princess of Wales, 42, seemed to use some of the watchwords she learned and absorbed during her own mental health mission. She has devoted much of her public life since marrying  Prince William in 2011, to well-being and promoting that in others, and a crucial element of that is in the outdoors and sporting worlds.

Tim Lawler, chief executive of SportsAid, has accompanied Princess Kate and Prince William, 41, on many outings over the last decade, including in October when the Prince and Princess of Wales joined the organization on World Mental Health Day for a mental fitness day. He points out how Kate "mentioned she wants to be in a good place to take things on spiritually, emotionally and physically" in her cancer announcement.

"That is often the advice I have heard her talk about when she's met young people and families," he tells PEOPLE. "Maybe there's something in that which gives her the confidence to meet this head-on."

CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Tim Lawler of SportsAid meets Princess Charlotte as Prince William and Kate Middleton watch on August 2, 2022
CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Tim Lawler of SportsAid meets Princess Charlotte as Prince William and Kate Middleton watch on August 2, 2022

Related: Why Kate Middleton Wanted to Deliver Cancer News Alone Without Prince William by Her Side (Exclusive)

Many people "don't consciously know how they dealt with something like this until someone around them asked them to think about it in a deliberate way. Those experiences all go into that resilience recipe to help you progress," Lawler explains.

"In times like this, forward is forward — it doesn’t matter how fast," he continues. "She mentioned time quite a lot — time to reflect, time to speak to the children and the family. As long as you can move forward in some form, then that shows resilience rather than feeling like you are going backward. I feel that would be the message she would use for others in that situation."

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Kate Middleton visits SportsAid on August 2, 2022
CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Kate Middleton visits SportsAid on August 2, 2022

Related: Kate Middleton Had a 'Tight' Circle of Knowledge Around Cancer News: 'Heck of a Shock,' Friend Says (Exclusive)

Lawler, who watched with the rest of the world as Princess Kate delivered her health update in a personal video message on Friday, felt the two-minute address was "typical" of the royal.

"She seemed to be thinking of others, she mentioned the family, she thanked people for their thoughts. It really chimed with me," he says. "She is a very giving person and part of the strength that she has — and this probably energizes her — is that she readily thinks of others. That is a natural inclination."

He continues, "So even for such a life moment, so personal to her and so focused and centered on her, the empathy that we know she has immediately came to mind there."

Lawler adds, "She is a person for whom this situation will capture the best of her, and we will all get to see it."

While Princess Kate asked for "time, space and privacy" while she undergoes treatment, she finished her self-written video message by speaking about her royal work and others going through cancer.

"My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery," she said.

"At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope," the royal concluded. "You are not alone."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.