• World
  • royals

Kate Middleton Makes Her Public Return at Trooping the Colour Amid Cancer Treatment

3 minute read
Updated: | Originally published:

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, has made her first official appearance since she announced her cancer diagnosis in a video released on March 22. The royal attended the final and most prestigious ceremonial event of the annual Trooping the Colour, marking the King's Birthday Parade in style.

After arriving at Buckingham Palace in a car, Kate, 42, was pictured in the royal carriage with her three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6. Dressed in a striking white dress with navy, nautical features, Kate—who is the honorary colonel of the Irish Guards, a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army—smiled as she watched the regiment march. After exiting the carriage, Kate was pictured enjoying the parade from a window, pointing out certain elements to her three young children.

Trooping The Colour 2024
Kate Middleton smiled in the carriage alongside her children, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte, during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024, in London, England. Samir Hussein—Getty Images
The Princess of Wales arrived at the event with her husband, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and their three children.Henry Nicholls—Getty Images

Meanwhile, King Charles III—who enjoys two birthdays as a ruling monarch—stood in salute of the marching army members, who were in their full regalia complete with the iconic King's Guards bearskin hats. Alongside him, Queen Camilla stood to attention, marking the special occasion as her husband was saluted. Charles' eldest son, Prince William, who took on the title Prince of Wales after his father became King, took part in the royal proceedings, serving on horseback.

Although King Charles would typically also be on horseback, His Majesty—who in February announced his own diagnosis of an undisclosed type of cancer—inspected the parade on foot, standing and saluting.

Trooping The Colour 2024
King Charles III saluted the troops as he arrived in a horse-drawn carriage alongside his wife, Queen Camilla.Chris Jackson—Getty Images
Trooping the Colour
The Trooping the Colour ceremony at the Horse Guards Parade, central London, celebrates King Charles III's official royal birthday. Yui Mok—Getty Images

Following the parade, Kate and her children were transported back to Buckingham Palace, where they—along with Prince William, King Charles, and Queen Camilla—took to the balcony to watch the Royal Air Force (RAF) flypast.

Prince Louis, who had earlier been spotted dancing, could be seen animatedly reacting to the loud noise of the flypast. Although the young royal was also pictured stifling yawns as he observed the event, he excitedly spoke to his parents and siblings throughout. At one point, older sister Charlotte was spotted seemingly instructing Louis on how to stand properly, pointing out how he should have his arms by his side.

Trooping The Colour 2024
Kate Middleton was joined by her family—including an animated Prince Louis—on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Neil Mockford—Getty Images
Trooping The Colour 2024
Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, was pictured laughing with her youngest child, Prince Louis, on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Samir Hussein—Getty Images

Kate's appearance marks a significant return to public life, yet the mother-of-three is open about the challenges ahead. Although she attended Trooping the Colour, the royal may well be absent from future events, as her recovery is set to continue over the coming months. In March, Kate revealed she had been diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer following a planned abdominal surgery in January. She revealed she was undergoing a course of "preventative chemotherapy."

In an update shared on June 14, in which Kate announced she would be attending the King's Birthday Parade, the royal said she is learning to be patient and listen to her body. In the post shared across the Prince and Princess of Wales' social media accounts, Kate said: "I am making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days. On those bad days you feel weak, tired, and you have to give in to your body resting. But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well."

Informing the public on the status of her cancer treatment, Kate said it is "ongoing and will be for a few more months."

The royal expanded: "On the days I feel well enough, it is a joy to engage with school life, spend personal time on the things that give me energy and positivity, as well as starting to do a little work from home."

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Olivia-Anne Cleary at olivia-anne.cleary@time.com