‘No Timeframe’ for Kate Middleton’s Return to Royal Duties: Source

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

Six months after the cancer-stricken Kate Middleton retreated from public view, she wrote in a public letter last weekend that she hopes to be back to at least one of her public duties, representing the Irish Guards, “very soon.”

The note, sent in response to her absence from a military ceremony preparing for the King Charles’ birthday parade this weekend, triggered excitement that Kate was teasing a return to public view far sooner than anyone had dared to expect. Indeed, there has even been some excitable chatter that she may make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at this weekend’s big event, Trooping the Colour.

Kate Middleton Breaks Her Silence After Missing Key Event

Those hopes, however, have now been tempered by Palace sources who dismissed requests from The Daily Beast to clarify whether Kate had intended to indicate in the letter that she was indeed preparing for a return to pubic life.

One Palace source close to the princess said the situation remains the same—she is out of the public eye receiving treatment, needs her privacy, and an update will be given “when there is one.”

Another source told The Daily Beast that the note to the Irish Guards apologizing for missing the official rehearsal for Trooping the Colour shouldn’t be overanalyzed.

In the letter, which was shared on social media, Kate, who was appointed honorary colonel of the Irish Guards by the king, wrote: “Being your Colonel remains a great honour, and I am very sorry that I’m unable take the salute at this year’s Colonel’s Review. Please pass my apologies to the whole Regiment, however I do hope that I am able to represent you all once again very soon.”

The source said: “I think to pick through the wording of her letter looking for clues to her intentions is a mistake. I am sure she does hope to be able to represent the Irish Guards again ‘very soon’ in an uncomplicated, normal understanding of that sentiment.

“The thing about William and Kate is that they honestly do a lot of this stuff themselves. It’s not like the old days of Queen Elizabeth II where the men in gray wrote something and the queen just signed it without any input. This was very clearly demonstrated with the photoshopped Mother’s Day image. For good or ill, they write the letters and take the pictures and tell their staff, ‘Send it out.’

“Some people found it preposterous to be asked to believe that Catherine was sitting at the kitchen table with her laptop editing a picture William took. But I can tell you, anyone who has worked for that couple would know that is exactly what happened. My understanding is that there is no timeframe for Catherine returning to public duties. I actually don’t think her note implies she is going to be charging down to their headquarters to inspect a parade next month. I honestly think it’s just a classic case of the Waleses not feeling they need to ask for advice when it comes to sending a simple letter.”

Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, appears in this still image from a handout video released March 22, 2024, in which she announced that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy.

Kate Middleton in a still image from a handout video released March 22, 2024, in which she announced that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy.

BBC Studios/Handout via Reuters

Another source, an old friend of the family, said they thought it would be “bizarre” if Kate appeared on the balcony at Trooping the Colour this weekend having declined to appear for her own regiment a week before.

“I think this idea that Kate is suddenly going to pop up on the balcony on Saturday is far-fetched,” they said. “It would be wonderful, of course, but more than slightly bizarre given that she bowed out of the colonel’s review.”

The friend said that the general understanding is that Kate is “doing well” with her treatment but prioritizing her recovery. They added, “The royals typically have a light schedule over the summer months, so it would seem odd to make a big push for her to return now.”

The 42-year-old has remained out of the public eye since March, when she revealed in a video message that she was being treated for cancer.

The Daily Beast has reported that Kate may not be seen publicly until next year, while the Daily Mail reported that Kate’s friends have said “we might not see Catherine again until the autumn—and only then if she has recovered fully.”

Us Weekly alleged that the Princess of Wales’ team is “reevaluating what she’s going to be able to take on when she comes back.”

The Palace has dismissed such reports as speculation. Her office has reiterated that she needs “space and time” to convalesce.

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