Prince William and King Charles Are Closer Than Ever — What's 'Strengthened Their Bond' in Recent Years

Prince William has already proved himself to be a soothing influence on his father

Prince William, Prince Charles
King Charles and Prince William. Photo: Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Royal/Instagram

King Charles III and Prince William are stepping up to their new royal roles united.

Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 8, Charles immediately acceded to the throne and named his eldest son the Prince of Wales, the traditional title for the heir, the following day. And although the two don't have a traditional father-and-son relationship, they are now closer than ever before.

"Talking about the future of the country and their future roles has strengthened their bond," a source who knows both Charles, 73, and William, 40, tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.

In addition to coming together over the deaths of Prince Philip, Charles' father who died in April 2021, and Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to move to California after stepping back as senior members of the royal family in 2020 has "brought [William and Charles] closer," says the source.

King Charles III and Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales walk behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, adorned with a Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown
King Charles and Prince William. DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William has already proved himself to be a calming presence for his father. During his televised accession ceremony following the Queen's death, King Charles showed an impatient side by pushing aside a pen tray and glaring at an aide to move the piece off the table, then he continued to vent his irritation behind the scenes.

It was William who helped soothe Charles, "defusing the situation," says a royal insider.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: (THE PHOTOGRAPH SHALL NOT BE USED AFTER FRIDAY, 14TH OCTOBER 2022 WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM ROYAL COMMUNICATIONS. All terms of release must be adhered to. The photograph has been distributed with permission from Royal Communications. The photograph is being made available by way of licence on condition that the photograph shall be solely for news editorial use only, no charge should be made for the supply, release or publication of the photograph, there shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photograph - including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use, the image must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the footage when published. THE PHOTOGRAPH SHALL NOT BE USED AFTER FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2022.) In this handout image issued by Buckingham Palace, Camilla, Queen Consort, King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales pose for a photo ahead of their Majesties the King and the Queen Consort’s reception for Heads of State and Official Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace on September 18, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Camilla, King Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Chris Jackson/Getty

Just as King Charles has been preparing for the role of monarch his entire life, Prince William is "fully immersing himself" in the role of Prince of Wales. He's also the Duke of Cornwall, which comes with Duchy of Cornwall, an estate of farmland, property and commercial businesses worth around $1.3 billion. Last year, it provided Charles with an income of around $25 million.

"He is going to very much take an active role in it," a royal source tells PEOPLE.

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In Oct. 2019, Prince William said he would follow in his father's footsteps when it came to the Duchy of Cornwall.

"I've started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day," William told farmers in Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy of Cornwall. "Well, rest assured I'm not going to rock the boat; I'll do much the same as what my father's doing. I'm not so into the architecture — that's the only thing."

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