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Kate Middleton says she’s sorry to miss key Trooping of the Colour event

The Princess of Wales has written to express her apologies that she will not attend a key rehersal event for this year’s Trooping the Colour ceremony, as the senior royal continues to recover from cancer treatment.

In a letter to the Irish Guards regiment, of which she is lieutenant colonel, Kate Middleton said she was “very sorry” that she would be unable to make the salute during the Colonel’s Review on Saturday – the final rehearsal for the Trooping the Colour parade which marks the King’s birthday on June 15th.

The letter was read out to troops in a video posted by the regiment on social media, which described the Irish Guards as “deeply touched” by Kate’s letter.

The Princess of Wales visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick’s Day Parade in 2023
The Princess of Wales visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick’s Day Parade in 2023 (PA Archive)

The princess wrote: “I wanted to write to you to let you know how proud I am of the entire regiment ahead of the Colonel’s Review and Trooping the Colour.

“I appreciate everyone trooping the colour this year have been practising for months, and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drill are immaculate.

“Being your colonel remains an honour, and I’m very sorry that I’m unable to make the salute at this year’s colonel review. Please pass on my apologies to the whole regiment. 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.”

The letter was signed off with the phrase, quis separabit, a Latin motto derived from the bible and associated with the British Army in Ireland, meaning “who will separate us?”.

Prince William said in May that his wife was ‘doing well’
Prince William said in May that his wife was ‘doing well’ (PA)

It is unclear whether Kate will attend the main Trooping of the Colour event next Saturday, which falls every year on the sovereign’s birthday. Kate will be represented at the Colonel’s Review by General James Bucknall, who will act as the chief inspecting officer of the day in her absence.

The royal had previously appealed for time, space and privacy for her family when she announced in March that she was being treated for an undisclosed form of cancer.

The Prince of Wales gave a positive update about his wife’s treatment during a visit to the Isles of Scilly earlier in May, saying “she’s doing well” when questioned by a hospital administrator.

During the Trooping ceremony, held on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, it is understood the King will carry out the review of the Guardsmen and officers from an Ascot Landau carriage with the Queen. Last year, Charles inspected the troops on horseback.

The change from last year’s ceremony, where Charles inspected the troops on horseback, reflects earlier Buckingham Palace briefings where it was highlighted that each engagement by the King would be reviewed and adaptations made when advised by doctors.

The King is likely to travel by carriage with the Queen during the traditional procession to and from Horse Guards Parade, and is expected to watch the Trooping ceremony seated on a dais, rather than on horseback.

Additional reporting by PA

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