"He's never really had that sort of proximity to the younger family. Now, there's more overlap," author Robert Hardman, whose new book 'The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy' is out this week, tells PEOPLE
A bonus of King Charles's role as monarch is that he now spends increased time at Windsor Castle, allowing him to have more quality time with his grandchildren Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.
Charles’ son and heir Prince William, 41, and daughter-in-law Kate Middleton, 42, live with their three children at Adelaide Cottage, which is on the Windsor estate and just a 10-minute walk from the castle.
"He's a father who loves his son and a doting grandfather," Robert Hardman, author of The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, which is out this week, tells PEOPLE. "One thing we don't see, and people weren't expecting, the King is spending a lot more time at Windsor than anyone expected."
"He's often there on Thursdays and Fridays. Obviously, the Waleses are within walking distance of the castle. He's never really had that sort of proximity to the younger family. Now, there's more overlap," Hardman adds.
The short distance will be an advantage once Kate is back from the hospital following her abdominal surgery earlier this week. She is expected to continue her recovery at home over the next few months and will be leaning on family to support her as she heals.
The King also revealed on Wednesday that he'll be receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate next week. Charles' wife Queen Camilla said on Thursday that Charles is "looking forward to getting back to work."
The closeness within the family was evident during the rehearsals for the coronation last May, Hardman says, adding that there were many lighthearted moments shared during the occasion.
“Like all families, they'll have their moments, but there is clearly a sense of common purpose," Hardman tells PEOPLE. "They all realize, this is a team effort."
George was one of the Pages of Honour attending to his grandfather at the coronation.
As a teen, William regularly met with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth for tea at Windsor Castle when he was studying at nearby Eton College, raising the possibility that Charles might help guide his grandson as a future heir to the throne.
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Hardman, who has spoken to aides and friends and members of the royal family for his book on the King, says, “I think very much it's parents first. If he was asked to, I mean, he'd be delighted, but I think it's very much parent-driven. We haven't got to that. I suspect the time will come rather like that sweet rapport between the late Queen and Prince William, but I suspect not yet.”
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