Kate Middleton says 'sorry' as she skips major Trooping the Colour event

Kate Middleton has said she was "very sorry" to be be missing a major rehearsal for Trooping the Colour. The Princess of Wales, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards - the regiment trooping their colour this year - would traditionally have taken the salute at the rehearsal, being held on Saturday, June 8, ahead of next week's main event.

But Kate, who is continuing her recovery following her cancer diagnosis and treatment, will instead be replaced by Lieutenant General James Bucknall. Although she was unable to attend, the princess took the time to pen a letter to the Irish Guards to express her pride in the regiment.

The Irish Guards has now shared the letter on X, which has been typed on Kensington Palace headed paper. It read: "I wanted to write 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 this year has been practising for months, and dedicating many hours to ensure their uniforms and drill are immaculate."

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Kate continued: "Being your Colonel remains a great honour, and I am very sorry I am unable to take the salute at this year's Colonel Review. Please pass my apologies to the whole Regiment, however, I do hope I can represent you all again soon. Please send my very best wishes and good luck to all involved."

The Mirror reports the letter was concluded by Kate handwriting the Irish Guards' motto Quis Separabit, which means 'Who shall separate us?'. She signed it 'Colonel Catherine'. A video of the letter being read out to troops was also posted by the regiment, with her words receiving a round of applause from the Guards.

Kate was reportedly considering making an appearance at the King's official birthday celebrations in London next Saturday. She could appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the Trooping the Colour ceremony if she is feeling well enough - however she is not expected to return to official duties until given the all-clear by doctors.

King Charles, who has also been undergoing cancer treatment, will attend his birthday celebrations, but adaptations have been made to his routine. It's reported the monarch would travel in an Ascot Landau carriage with Queen Camilla to inspect the troops, instead of riding on horseback.