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Rare Kate update, as King to take part in Trooping the Colour

Princess of Wales' cancer announcement

Source: Kensington Palace

A glimmer of hope that the Princess of Wales might take part in the upcoming Trooping the Colour has been dashed after a rare update from Buckingham Palace.

The palace confirmed on Friday (AEST) that a senior military official would stand in for Kate at the rehearsal on June 8.

The princess was due to take the salute in her role as Colonel of the Irish Guards, which she gained in 2022, taking over from husband Prince William.

However, Kate’s absence shows she may not be ready to return to work after her cancer diagnosis, and will instead continue to focus on her chemotherapy and recovery.

In March, Britain’s Defence Ministry posted on its website that the princess would take part in the ceremony on June 8. It was interpreted as confirming her return to public life for the June 15 Trooping the Colour – but was quickly hosed down by Kensington Palace.

Earlier this week, Vanity Fair reported that Kate had “turned a corner” with her treatment in recent weeks and was feeling a lot better.

“It has been a great relief that she is tolerating the medication and is actually doing a lot better,” Vanity Fair quoted a family friend.

“It has, of course, been a very challenging and worrying time. Everyone has rallied around her – William, her parents, and her sister and brother.”

The magazine also quoted a palace source insisting that Kate – who has not been seen out and about on public duties since last Christmas – would eventually return to work.

“There is no timeline, and there is certainly no hurry. It will be when Catherine feels ready and when she gets the green light from her medical team.

“But she will 100 per cent be coming back to work, of that there is no question.”

Meanwhile, more details of the Trooping the Colour reveal the King will take part.

But it’s understood part of his role will be altered due to his cancer diagnosis – the King will inspect the soldiers from a carriage rather than on horseback.

He has recently returned to public-facing duties while still receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer and will take part in one of the highlights of the royal calendar.

The celebration, which traditionally involves the royal family gathering on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after a display of pomp and military pageantry, will be held on June 15.

During the ceremony, held on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, it is understood the King will review the guardsmen and officers from an Ascot Landau carriage, with the Queen.

It is a change from 2023’s ceremony, when the King inspected the troops on horseback. It reflects earlier Buckingham Palace briefings where it was highlighted that each of his engagements would be reviewed and adapted if needed, according to medical advice.

The monarch has had a busy program of engagements since it was announced a month ago he would return to public facing duties.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision last week to call a surprise summer general election has meant the monarchy has postponed any engagements “which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign”.

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

-with AAP

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