Kate Returns To Public Life But Says, ‘I’m Not Out Of The Woods Yet’

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, is set to make her public comeback at Trooping the Colour

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales

by Jessica Barrett |
Updated on

Kate Middleton has revealed that she will be making an appearance at Trooping the Colour tomorrow (15 June). After weeks of speculation, the Princess of Wales, who has been undergoing preventative chemotherapy, confirmed that she will make her public comeback at the King's official birthday celebrations in London, as she prepares to return to work with some engagements - but says that her treatment is 'ongoing' and she's 'not out of the woods yet'.

It's the first time she has been seen since her cancer diagnosis, which she revealed in March, and her abdominal surgery in January. Her last public engagement was in December 2023, at the Christmas Day service in Sandringham, Norfolk, alongside her family and the other royals.

'I have been blown away by all the kind messages of support and encouragement over the last couple of months. It really has made the world of difference to William and me and has helped us both through some of the harder times,' she said on Instagram.

'I’m looking forward to attending The King’s Birthday Parade this weekend with my family and hope to join a few public engagements over the summer, but equally knowing I am not out of the woods yet,' she continued.

Kate gave fans an update about her condition. '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,' she revealed.

'My treatment is ongoing and will be for a few more months. 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. I am learning how to be patient, especially with uncertainty. Taking each day as it comes, listening to my body, and allowing myself to take this much needed time to heal.'

She added, 'Thank you so much for your continued understanding, and to all of you who have so bravely shared your stories with me.'

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales
Kate, Princess of Wales at Trooping the Colour 2023 ©Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Usually a glamorous fixture on the summer season, Kate is usually seen attending the Chelsea Flower Show, Buckingham Palace garden parties, Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot and Wimbledon. This year, she has been convalescing at home, out of the public spotlight, as she continues chemotherapy treatment for the cancer that was discovered after abdominal surgery earlier this year. The Princess of Wales - who is honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards - expressed her apologies for missing the Colonel's Review earlier this month in a heartfelt letter.

'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. I appreciate everyone trooping this year has been practicing for months, and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drills are immaculate,' Kate wrote.

'Being your colonel remains a great honour, and I am very sorry that I’m unable to 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.' She added, 'Please send my very best wishes and good luck to all involved,' before signing off as Colonel Catherine.

Meanwhile, King Charles will participate in Trooping the Colour - a prestigious event to mark the King's official birthday - on 15 June, where he'll be accompanied by his wife Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family.

As for Wimbledon, All England Club's chair Deborah Jevon said they will not putting any pressure on the princess, who is their patron, to attend. 'Our priority is clearly that our Patron has the time to recover and we’re certainly not going to add any additional pressure on her recovery by speculating on her attendance at this year’s Championships,' she said.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 16. Catherine, Princess of Wales at the trophy presentations after the Gentlemen's Singles Final match on Centre Court during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 16, 2023, in London, England. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Prince William cut a slightly lonely figure as he carried out engagements solo. He was usher for his friend Hugh Grosvenor, who married Olivia Henson on 7 June, attended the 80th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings in Normandy, met the England football team ahead of the Euros and visited Cardiff, Wales, to celebrate the seaweed industry and food innovation.

'She would've loved to be here today,' he told D-Day and WWII veterans.

He hosted the Sovereign’s Garden Party without Kate by his side, although he had called in Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Zara and Mike Tindall (with whom he is close), as well as Peter Phillips. As the prince joked about the torrential downpours being ‘good weather for swimming’, he also shared optimistic updates on the princess, saying she is ‘doing well’.

Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales reacts as he arrives to attend The Sovereign's Garden Party, at Buckingham Palace, central London, on May 21, 2024. (Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

But, in truth, this has been an extremely tough time for the couple as they remain committed to maintaining a sense of normality for their three children. Kate has continued to do the school run and attend their sports matches and ballet classes, when her treatment and fatigue allows. And in an encouraging sign, she has been working behind the scenes on her early years project and is said to be ‘excited’ by its progress.

Earlier this month, her Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood issued a new report, which said prioritising young children and supporting their caregivers could lead to ‘£45.5bn in value added for the national economy each year’. The report is intended as a blueprint for businesses to lay the foundations for making small changes to improve opportunities for parents, carers and children in society.

Its five recommendations are to be translated into practical actions, for example, companies not scheduling calls before 9am, so working parents can do the school run, and subsidised or on-site childcare.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Catherine, Princess of Wales, Patron of the V&A, speaks with children of Globe Primary school in Bethnal Green as she officially opens The Young V&A, (formerly known as the V&A Museum of Childhood) on June 28, 2023 in London, England. The museum is dedicated to children and young people aged 0-14 and following a three-year transformation, will be open to the public on Saturday 1st July 2023. (Photo by Richard Pohle-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

This is a passion project for the princess – she has said it will be her life’s work – and Christian Guy, executive director of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, said, ‘What is so important for her is action. She feels passionately about the transformational impact of getting this right together, both for the current generation and for many more to come.’

Behind the scenes, William’s focus has been on supporting his wife – and he has been encouraged that her work has brought her such fulfilment at a very difficult period. Still, it has been a testing time. ‘He’s had to dig deep,’ says a friend. ‘Whether you’re a prince or pauper, no one would expect anything like this, with his father and wife both being treated for cancer.’

King Charles returned to public duties in April on a 'reduced' summer schedule, as he continues his undergoing treatment for his unspecified cancer.

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