Confusion reigns as Catherine reportedly to attend June event, Charles to miss Commonwealth Day


Confusion about the health of the Princess of Wales continued to swirl Tuesday as British officials announced Catherine will attend a Trooping the Colour ceremony in June — her first confirmed official event since undergoing abdominal surgery — but apparently without first consulting with Kensington Palace.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said Tuesday that Kate, 42, will inspect soldiers on parade during the June 8 ceremony. 

The events of the day and on the weekend that follows are annual highlights in the royal calendar and include pomp-filled birthday parades to honour the reigning monarch that usually draw huge crowds each June. The tradition dates back more than 260 years.

But several British media outlets reported that Kensington Palace was not consulted about Catherine’s supposed return to duties, with the Telegraph saying the MOD “jumped the gun,” and the Daily Mail quoting a royal source as saying only the palace can announce the Prince or Princess of Wales’s attendance at royal events.

“Kensington Palace is not confirming, but if it’s true, it would be the first scheduled engagement for the Princess of Wales since that abdominal surgery, further quelling the rumours online that perhaps the princess is more ill than she seems,” GB News royal correspondent Cameron Walker said Tuesday morning.

Questions have swirled about the health of Catherine and King Charles since mid-January, when announcements were made within hours of each other that Catherine had undergone surgery while Charles would undergo treatment for an enlarged prostate the following week.

In late January, the palace said in a statement that Catherine was making “good progress,” was back at home in Windsor and was not due to return to public duties until after Easter. In February, Buckingham Palace announced Charles had been diagnosed with cancer, unrelated to his prostate, and would suspend his public duties.

WATCH | ‘Crazy time’ for the Royal Family: 

A ‘crazy time’ for the Royal Family, says magazine editor

Stephanie Petit, People magazine’s royals editor, says with recent medical concerns for both King Charles and Catherine, Princess of Wales, the rest of the Royal Family will have to help shoulder the responsibilities. However, Petit says there is no expectation anyone will officially step in for King Charles during this time.

Last week, after Prince William — who is Charles’s eldest son and Catherine’s husband — cancelled his appearance at King Constantine’s memorial service for “personal matters,” theories started swirling about his wife’s whereabouts. Over the weekend, as it was reported Queen Camilla was taking a week off from royal duties, rumours reached a fever pitch.

On Monday, new photos published in various media outlets appeared to show Catherine in the passenger seat of a car being driven by her mother, further feeding the rumour mill. 

If verified, they would be the first official sighting of Catherine since Christmas Day.

Charles to miss Commonwealth Day

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday that Charles will miss next week’s engagements to mark Commonwealth Day, with Camilla stepping in for the monarch as he continues to undergo cancer treatment.

Camilla will head the group of senior royals in attendance, which will include Prince William, but not Catherine.

Also on Tuesday, King Charles was photographed meeting with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of Wednesday’s budget.

Two men in suits shake hands in an ornate parlour.
King Charles meets with Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt in the private audience room at Buckingham Palace, in London on Tuesday. (Aaron Chown/Pool/Reuters)

BBC noted that pre-budget audiences are “usually private, but this time a photograph was issued.”

Royal expert Richard Kay recently wrote in the Daily Mail that all the uncertainty about the Royal Family is driving them “perilously close” to a crisis.

“All in all we know precious little,” he wrote last week.

“It is against this backdrop that the stability of the Royal Family, which for all the years of the late Queen’s reign we took for granted, suddenly looks to be in jeopardy. Never in modern memory have the royals had so many multiple troubles at the same time.”

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