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Kate Middleton Speaks Out in New Letter Amid Break From Public Life Due to Cancer

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In a new letter, Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, apologized to the Irish Guards—a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army—for missing today’s final rehearsal of the annual Trooping the Colour event and wished the regiment good luck.

“I wanted to write and let you know how proud I am of the entire Regiment ahead of the Colonel’s Review and Trooping the Colour,” Middleton wrote in the letter. “I appreciate everyone trooping this year has been practicing for months, and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drill are immaculate.”

She continued the letter by saying that her role as the Colonel of the Irish Guards is an “honour” and that she hopes to be able to represent the Regiment again “very soon.”

The British Army had originally included Middleton on their website as an attendee of today's parade, which is called the Colonel’s Review. It’s a prestigious event which forms the final rehearsal ahead of the King’s Birthday Parade, which takes place this year on June 15. Middleton’s role as Colonel typically results in her attendance.

'Trooping the Colour' parade in London
The Colonel's Review parade, which is the part of the "Trooping the Colour," was celebrated in London, U.K. on June 8, 2024. Rasid Necati Aslim—GettyImages

In early March, though, before news of Middleton’s diagnosis had been made public, the U.K. Army removed its claim that she would attend, after much speculation on whether or not the Princess would appear.

The Princess of Wales’ absence comes as she continues to take a break from public-facing duties since her announcement that she was diagnosed with cancer following a planned abdominal surgery. In a video message shared on March 22, Middleton said the diagnosis came as a “huge shock” and that she and her family had needed time to process the news. The mother-of-three said she would be undergoing a course of “preventative chemotherapy.

The Irish Guard’s official X (formerly Twitter) account posted earlier today, in light of the royal’s correspondence. “The Irish Guards were deeply touched to receive a letter from our Colonel, Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales this morning,” they said. “We continue to wish Her Royal Highness well in her recovery and send Her our very best wishes.”

Accompanying the X post is video of the regiment listening to Middleton’s letter aloud, and clapping at the end.

In Middleton’s place, Lieutenant General James Bucknall, the former commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps instead took the salute.

King Charles III, who in February announced his own diagnosis with an undisclosed form of cancer, is set to attend the final Trooping the Colour parade on June 15.

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