King Charles Would Be “Delighted” to Have Kate Middleton Return to Royal Duties for Trooping the Colour Balcony Appearance on Saturday

If her health allows her to appear on the public stage, “It would reinforce the strength of the monarchy moving forward,” according to an expert.

King Charles and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We know it’s probably a long shot, but after Marie Claire reported last week that the Princess of Wales is “considering” making a surprise Buckingham Palace balcony appearance to close this year’s Trooping the Colour “if she is feeling well enough,” it’s hard to not get excited at the prospect. After all, we haven’t seen Kate at a royal engagement since Christmas Day of last year, when she joined the rest of the royal family for the traditional December 25 service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate; what followed has been a tumultuous 2024, with a planned abdominal surgery in January, the unexpected and shocking news of a cancer diagnosis in February, telling the world about it in March, and laying low since as she (again, rightfully so) prioritizes her health and well-being.

Kate Middleton

Kate at last year's Trooping the Colour parade, which marked her first as Princess of Wales.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s no pressure for Kate to return to public duty—some are speculating it may be as far out as 2025—but, if she’s up to it, even just the briefest of appearances would lift many a royal follower’s heart. But we digress.

Apparently we’re not alone in our excitement: OK reports that King Charles—whose birthday will be celebrated at the annual Trooping the Colour parade on Saturday—would be “delighted” to have his “beloved daughter-in-law” on the balcony with him and the rest of the royal family.

“If Kate were to appear on the balcony, it would definitely dominate the news,” public relations expert Rhea Freeman told GB News. “But from everything I’ve read and seen, I would imagine that the King would be delighted to have her there.” 

Prince Charles Kate Middleton

As both receive treatment for cancer, the King and the Princess of Wales' relationship has only grown stronger as of late.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The King, too, is battling cancer; following a routine prostate procedure on January 26, cancer was detected, and he announced his diagnosis on February 5, the same day he began treatment. He returned to public duty on April 30 after nearly three months away.

If Kate was able to appear on the balcony Saturday, “It would reinforce the strength of the monarchy moving forward, something that has been questioned by some with both the King and Kate’s recent health concerns,” Freeman said.

Reports have emerged recently that, when Kate does finally return to public duty, it might not look the same as it did before 2024. But, per OK, royal author Christopher Andersen disagrees with this notion, saying “Let’s not jump the gun, folks,” in regard to those reports. “Kate is undergoing cancer [treatment], and it’s perfectly understandable that she’s out of the picture for the moment,” he continued. “There is no doubt in my mind that Kate will return to public life once she’s satisfied that she’s done everything her doctors have told her to do to defeat her illness.” 

Kate Middleton

Kate is still waiting on the green light from doctors to return to public life.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Andersen added that “Kate is all about her family, but she is all about duty to her country. She is keenly aware of the roles she plays as Princess of Wales, the future Queen, wife of a future King, and mother to a future monarch. Kate didn’t spend 10 years waiting to land her prince so that she could eventually recede into the shadows.”

As for Trooping the Colour on Saturday, “If she can’t make it to Trooping the Colour because of the side effects of chemotherapy, then say it now,” Andersen said of the Palace confirming that Kate wouldn’t be at the Colonel’s Review on June 8, but not saying anything about the June 15 event. “Saying she’s skipping the rehearsal isn’t enough. Don’t keep everyone hanging, because that gives rise to absurd statements like ‘We may never see her again.’”

Excited though we may be at the prospect of seeing her on Saturday, we also should temper them with the reality that she just may not be ready yet—and that’s okay. “She’s still recovering, and her doctors haven’t given her the green light to get back to work full-time yet,” a source said, per OK. “Going through chemotherapy has been particularly rough on her.” They added that “she’s very frail and afraid she won’t be able to give her all to an official engagement right now.” 

Kate Middleton, 2022

Even if we don't see Kate on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Saturday, don't expect her to, as Andersen put it, "recede into the shadows.”

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When she does eventually make her return, “She’s been away so long that she’ll be under the intense glare of the spotlight—people will be analyzing every tiny detail of her appearance,” they added, noting that Kate “wouldn’t want to show up looking anything less than her best. Everyone has always expected her to be perfect at all times.” (It really is an impossible standard we’ve expected her and, really, pretty much all royal women, to uphold.)

The source claimed that Kate will release another video first prior to appearing in public, but, they said, “even that will be nerve-wracking” because she “has been subjected to so many conspiracy theories since she got sick. Who knows what people will come up with next? It’s sad, because she could do a lot of good if she visited fellow cancer patients as Charles did recently, and she’s under an enormous amount of pressure to get back to public service. But it’s also understandable that she’d want to stay in hiding.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.