Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis Were a Key Reason Why Princess Kate Wanted to Attend Trooping the Colour Today

As their father, Prince William, rode in the parade on horseback, Kate rode alongside them in a carriage.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Much like how their mother, the Princess of Wales, has been away from the public eye as she has faced health battle after health battle in 2024, her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis have also remained out of the spotlight for all of this year.

Princess Charlotte, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince George, Prince Louis, Mia Tindall and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023 in Sandringham, Norfolk.

Until today, George, Charlotte, and Louis haven't been seen in public together since Christmas Day 2023, when they attended church at St. Mary Magdalene alongside their parents.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince George and Princess Charlotte

George and Charlotte rode in a carriage alongside Louis and their mother today.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Louis

Louis taking it all in.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Wales family of five—which includes Kate, the three kids, and Prince William—were last seen all together on Christmas Day of last year, when they and the rest of the royal family attended the traditional Christmas Day church service at St. Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate. Outside of portraits released for Louis’ birthday in April and Charlotte’s birthday in May—and one rather controversial Mother’s Day portrait—we have seen little of the Wales trio throughout the entirety of 2024, save for a rare appearance by George at a sporting event alongside his father. Absence, perhaps, has made the heart grow even fonder for George, Charlotte, and Louis, who made their first joint public appearance of 2024 when they joined their mother, the Princess of Wales, to celebrate their grandfather, King Charles (who they call “Grandpa Wales”), at Trooping the Colour, the annual birthday parade held for the monarch. (Though Charles’ actual birthday is in November and Queen Elizabeth’s before him was in April, June was chosen as the month for the monarch’s annual birthday parade because of the generally favorable weather in London at that time, which, unfortunately, didn't prove true today at least.)

Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte of Wales attend The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on December 08, 2023 in London, England.

This year has been a different and difficult one, as both their mother, the Princess of Wales, and their grandfather, King Charles, were diagnosed with cancer.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Louis and Kate Middleton

The Princess of Wales and Louis, staying dry from the rainy weather in London today.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince George and Princess Charlotte

George and Charlotte waving to the crowds gathered for the occasion.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

George, Charlotte, and Louis rode alongside Kate in this morning’s carriage procession before joining the rest of the royal family on the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony for the traditional Royal Air Force flypast that concludes the event. The Wales trio have become a fixture at Trooping the Colour in recent years, with the public delighted in particular with Louis’ balcony antics as the loud planes fly overhead.

One can imagine that, just as it has been a difficult year for their parents—and despite, no doubt, William and Kate’s attempts to shield them from it—George, Charlotte, and Louis have had a tough start to 2024. After that Christmas Day appearance six months ago, their mother underwent a planned abdominal surgery at The London Clinic on January 16 and stayed in the hospital until January 29, nearly two weeks later. The next month, February, was when Kate reportedly learned that cancer had been detected during the procedure the month prior, and the stress over what has become known as “Kategate” or “Photogate” in early March no doubt had an effect on her, as well, as she began preventative chemotherapy. On March 22, after rampant internet and social media conspiracy theories and speculation, Kate confirmed in a brave video message that she had been diagnosed with cancer, the type and stage of which heretofore remains unknown. She, as well as the kids, have been away from public life, as their father, William, has returned to work, while still prioritizing Kate’s care and the care of his kids, too.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis ride in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour

The three have become fixtures at Trooping the Colour in recent years, both in the carriage procession and on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

(Image credit: Getty)

Royal author Katie Nicholl told The Sun that there has been an enormous “weight and burden” that has fallen to William: “He’s playing the role of Prince of Wales brilliantly, perfectly, but I think it’s a huge burden on him at the moment,” she said. “He is going through a lot. And I think in all of this, it’s a reminder that the royals are just human, like the rest of us.”

For both William and Kate, the chief focus of their lives are the kids, and George, Charlotte, and Louis were likely a major reason why Kate opted to attend Trooping the Colour herself today, as William rode in the parade on horseback; she likely didn't want the kids to be with anyone else in the carriage other than her, because, royal kids they are, they're still, after all, just kids.

The Sun reports that "it is understood the Princess of Wales is looking forward to being in the carriage with her children for the event." Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight that her appearance at Trooping the Colour is "a very positive and happy surprise," as it was unsure if her health would allow her to attend prior to Kate's announcement yesterday.

"It's a very important image to project to the world," Nicholl said. "Up there on that balcony you are seeing the royal family together, despite having gone through a very turbulent time. And I think that's going to send a really important message."

Nicholl added, of Kate's photo taken by Matt Porteous and released alongside her statement that she would be attending the June 15 event, that the Princess of Wales "looks incredibly healthy and very, very well."

Hello reports that George, Charlotte, and Louis "were key to Princess Kate's return to the spotlight," with a source telling the outlet "She wanted to be there to support her family," and added that "supporting her children has been, really, the key to her recovery—and will continue to be."

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.