Kate Middleton Has Been 'Really Upset' About Estrangement from Harry and Meghan, Says Insider

Prince Harry and Meghan's departure from their roles as senior working royals "has been hugely stressful" on Kate and Prince William

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Photo: Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William have supported each other throughout the royal family's ongoing estrangement from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the Sussexes' claims of mistreatment and racism during their time as working royals.

Kate has been "really, really upset about it all," one close insider tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.

Adds a friend: "Everything with Harry and Meghan has been hugely stressful, but if anything, it's pulled [her and William] closer together. She was upset about it because [William] was so upset. Seeing her husband so distraught was tough."

The topic of Meghan, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, has caused some rare candid moments for the couple. Shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which they revealed there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born," Prince William told reporters, "We are very much not a racist family."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry
Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Last month, Kate was quick to change the subject during a visit to a school when one of the students asked about Meghan and Harry. "What else?" she promptly responded.

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The friend tells PEOPLE: "She's no pushover. She has an inner strength for sure."

Kate Middleton Cambridge

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The past year has seen another shift within the royal family as 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth has curtailed some of her public activity amid health concerns. As a result, Kate finds herself closer than ever to the inevitable historic moment when she takes her place as Queen Catherine alongside a King William.

She is "more and more impressive as time goes on," says a source close to the royal household. "She is a focused and professional woman."

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