Major Kate Middleton decision about Trooping the Colour role confirmed

The Princess of Wales will not be at a rehearsal for Trooping the Colour next weekend as she continues her cancer treatment, it has been confirmed.

As Colonel of the Irish Guards, she traditionally would have taken the salute at the Colonel's Review, the traditional rehearsal ahead of the main Trooping the Colour event, on June 8. However, Kate who is expected to return to official duties only when given the all-clear by doctors after her cancer treatment, will instead be replaced by Lieutenant General James Bucknall, KCB, CBE.

The former Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps has attended every King’s Birthday Parade since 2009 when he was appointed Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, having served as a Coldstream Guards Officer for more than 45 years.

major kate middleton decision about trooping the colour role confirmed

Kate at last year's event with Prince William and children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

Kate's diary has been cleared entirely for this year while she undergoes preventative chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with the disease in February after abdominal surgery. The princess, 42, has not been confirmed as attending the main Trooping event for the King's birthday on June 15, although palace sources have previously said that the future queen may decide to attend some future royal events if she was well and able at the time.

Back in March before Kate's cancer diagnosis was revealed, the Army was forced to remove a claim Kate would apear at the Colonel's Review on June 8. The announcement on the Army website drew attention because the appearance would have been the first major official duty confirmed for her since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

Tickets were being sold on the official website for the military spectacle, advertising an appearance of the Princess with a picture of her on the website - however, it was removed hours later. Several weeks later, Kate gave her emotional message to the world, where she revealed her cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that King Charles is to take part in the main Trooping the Colour ceremony next month and will inspect the soldiers from a carriage.

The monarch, who has also been undergoing treatment for cancer since February, will not be riding a horse at his official birthday parade on June 15, but will instead conduct the review of troops taking part while seated in an Ascot Landau carriage with Queen Camilla.

major kate middleton decision about trooping the colour role confirmed

King Charles will join Queen Camilla in a carriage at Trooping the Colour next month

There are five Ascot Landau carriages, which are used every year for the monarch's procession during the Royal Meeting at Ascot, kept by the Royal Mews. Following the wedding service of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018, the newly married couple travelled around Windsor in a horse-drawn Ascot Landau carriage, providing an opportunity for members of the public to see them and join in with celebrations. Ascot Landaus also previously featured in the carriage procession at William and Kate's wedding in 2011.

Palace sources said the alteration to normal proceedings is in keeping with previous guidance by Buckingham Palace that the King’s return to public-facing duties would be carefully reviewed for each individual engagement, with adaptations made where advised by doctors to prioritise the sovereign's continued recovery.

Royal sources said other members of the Royal Family were expected to attend in line with last year, where only working members of the family were present. That would mean there will be no place on the palace balcony for members of the family including Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice or the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's children Lady Louise Windsor, 20, and James, the Earl of Wessex, 16.

Trooping the Colour is held every year as an official birthday event for the monarch, even though Charles' actual birthday is on November 14. It dates back centuries and became an annual event from 1760. It is one of the biggest military ceremonies of the year, featuring around 1,600 parading soldiers, 400 musicians and more than 200 horses and is usually wrapped up with a RAF flypast over Buckingham Palace, watched by the Royal Family from the Palace balcony.

Meanwhile, anti-monarchy campaigners have announced they will protest outside Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour. Protesters from Republic argue the traditional ceremony for the King’s birthday should be replaced with an annual celebration of the country's armed forces.

Speaking for Republic, Graham Smith said today: "This is another costly royal celebration, a birthday parade that celebrates a corrupt, dishonest institution when people are crying out for change.

"Rather than having the parade to celebrate Charles's birthday, why not use the moment to celebrate the service given by our armed forces? "Rather than see royals wear uniforms, rank and medals they've not earned, let's put real military personnel front and centre. Our message is clear: It's time to abolish the monarchy, it's time to change the country for good."

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