Kate Middleton Apologizes for Missing Pre-Trooping the Colour Event Amid Cancer Treatment

Kate Middleton apologizes for missing pre-Trooping the Colour event due to cancer treatment.

Kate Middleton attends Wimbledon on July 15, 2023. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, SIMON BRUTY/ANYCHANCE/GETTY)
Kate Middleton attends Wimbledon on July 15, 2023. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, SIMON BRUTY/ANYCHANCE/GETTY)

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has expressed her regrets for being unable to attend a significant rehearsal for Trooping the Colour, the annual celebration marking King Charles‘ birthday.

The Princess, who is the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards, conveyed her apologies in a heartfelt letter shared by the regiment on social media.

The Irish Guards posted the letter on X (formerly known as Twitter) on June 8, just days before the main event.

In her message, Princess Kate, 42, acknowledged the dedication and hard work of the regiment as they prepared for the Colonel’s Review and the Trooping the Colour.

“I appreciate everyone trooping this year has been practicing for months, and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drill are immaculate,” she wrote.

Despite her absence, Kate emphasized the honor she feels being the regiment’s Colonel. “Being your colonel remains a great honor and I am very sorry that I’m unable to take the salute at this year’s Colonel’s Review.

Please pass my apologies to the whole Regiment, however, I do hope that I am able to represent you all once again very soon. Please send my very best wishes and good luck to all involved,” she continued.

She signed off the letter with the regimental motto, “Quis Separabit,” and her official title, “Colonel Catherine.”

The Irish Guards expressed their appreciation for the letter, stating, “The Irish Guards were deeply touched to receive a letter from our Colonel, Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales this morning. We continue to wish Her Royal Highness well in her recovery and send Her our very best wishes.”

The Princess of Wales has been keeping a low profile since announcing her cancer diagnosis and undergoing chemotherapy in March. Her absence from this key event, where she would have typically taken the salute during the Colonel’s Review on June 8, marks a significant moment.

Lieutenant General James Bucknall, a former Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, stepped in to take the salute in her place.

This year’s Trooping the Colour sees the Irish Guards in a leading role for King Charles’ birthday celebration. The five regiments of the Foot Guards — Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh — rotate the honor annually, and this year is the turn of the Irish Guards.

Prince William, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London, England. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY)
Prince William, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London, England. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY)

Last year, Prince William led the Trooping the Colour rehearsal as the honorary Colonel of the Welsh Guards.

Since her public announcement on March 22, Princess Kate has made few public appearances. However, she has been seen occasionally with her family and running errands.

Prince William, 41, has assured the public that his wife is “doing well,” although palace sources indicate that she will not return to her royal duties until she receives clearance from her medical team.

The uncertainty remains whether Princess Kate will join the royal family at King Charles’ birthday celebration on June 15.

She has been a regular presence at the event since her marriage to Prince William in 2011, except for the scaled-down versions in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Kate also missed the Irish Guards’ traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade in March, as she was recovering from abdominal surgery performed in January.

Despite her absence, the regiment honored her during the event. A source told PEOPLE that they planned to give her three cheers at the end of their parade.

Queen Camilla and Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour 2022. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE)
Queen Camilla and Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour 2022. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE)

As the royal family prepares for Trooping the Colour, King Charles is also set to attend, albeit with a slight change from previous years. The King, 75, will be riding in a horse-drawn carriage alongside Queen Camilla, rather than on horseback.

King Charles, who revealed his own cancer diagnosis in February, has recently resumed a fuller schedule of royal duties. However, public engagements have been reduced following the announcement of a general election in July by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on May 22.

Buckingham Palace decided to postpone any engagements that could potentially divert attention from the election campaign. Nonetheless, it was determined that Trooping the Colour would proceed as planned.

The royal family’s adaptability and continued commitment to their roles, despite personal health challenges and political developments, underscore their dedication to their duties and public service.

Princess Kate’s heartfelt letter and the supportive response from the Irish Guards reflect the strong bond and mutual respect between the royal family and the military, highlighting the enduring traditions that bind them.

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