Kate Middleton to miss rehearsal for major royal event as cancer recovery continues

The princess stepped back from royal duties following abdominal surgery in January
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)

The Princess of Wales is set to miss a rehearsal for a major fixture in the royal family calendar as she continues chemotherapy treatment following her cancer diagnosis.

Kate will not inspect the troops at The Colonel's Review on June 8, which is held seven days ahead of Trooping the Colour, an event that has marked the reigning monarch's birthday for more than 260 years. However, it has not yet been confirmed whether the princess will attend the famous ceremony itself on June 15 as part of King Charles' official birthday celebrations, PA reports.

Kate announced her cancer diagnosis to the public in March amid mounting speculation over her welfare, with royal fans concerned that the princess had not been seen in public since the Palace confirmed she had been admitted to hospital for "planned abdominal surgery" in January. The royal explained in a video message released on March 22 that tests following the operation found that cancer had been present, despite doctors initially believing that her condition was non-cancerous.

The princess said at the time: "This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family." The Palace has not confirmed the type or stage of cancer that Kate was diagnosed with, but said in March that the Princess of Wales was in "good spirits" and "focused on making a full recovery".

Following Kate's surgery, the Prince of Wales put his official duties on hold to look after their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, before resuming royal engagements in mid-April. William gave a positive update about his wife's treatment during a visit to the Isles of Scilly earlier in May, saying Kate was "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. 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 had been carrying out a busy programme of engagements since it was announced just over four weeks ago he would be returning to public facing duties. 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".

Charles 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. 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 the princess' absence.