Trooping the Colour Is a Go for June 15—Will Princess Kate Be Attending?

For his part, King Charles will be there for his birthday parade, but will experience it from a different vantage point.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Though this year’s Trooping the Colour will certainly look quite different than it did last year, at least it’s happening at all—there was a moment where that was up in the air, as the royal family is scaling back events in the leadup to the U.K.’s general election on July 4. But Trooping the Colour is on, set for Saturday, June 15—it marks King Charles’ second birthday parade, and, as previously mentioned, will see significant changes than the year prior.

Catherine, Princess of Wales during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London, England. Trooping the Colour is a traditional parade held to mark the British Sovereign's official birthday. It will be the first Trooping the Colour held for King Charles III since he ascended to the throne

As she continues to receive treatment for cancer, Kate will be absent from Trooping the Colour this year.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Palace has confirmed that, perhaps not surprisingly, the Princess of Wales won’t be in attendance as she continues to receive treatment for cancer, which she announced to the world on March 22. Since then, Kate has kept an extremely low profile, though reports this week indicate that, thankfully, Kate seems to be responding to treatment and has turned a corner for the better. As can be expected, she will also not be present at the Colonel’s Review on June 8, one week prior; the Colonel’s Review is the traditional rehearsal for Trooping the Colour, and Kate will not be there to take the salute, as she typically would thanks to her role as Colonel of the Irish Guards. (In her place, The Mirror reports, Lieutenant General James Bucknall, KCB, CBE, will take the salute.)

Though news surrounding Kate’s health seems to all be positive—again, a blessing—and as Kate begins to emerge from behind the walls of Adelaide Cottage and Anmer Hall into public outings here and there, Kensington Palace continues to stress the need for “space and time” for Kate to recover. Her return to public life has been floated as being possibly in the fall at the absolute earliest, and possibly as far out as 2025

The royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony at Trooping the Colour

This year's Trooping the Colour will, for many reasons, look quite different to last year's birthday celebration for King Charles, seen here.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Though Charles’ birthday is in November (and Queen Elizabeth’s was in April) Trooping the Colour in June is the official birthday celebration of the monarch and dates all the way back to the 1700s. Last year, the King rode on horseback during the parade, a first since 1986, which was the last year Her late Majesty did so. From 1986 until her death in 2022, she traveled in a carriage, and this year—as the King, too, battles cancer, as his daughter-in-law Kate is—Charles will ride in a carriage alongside his wife, Queen Camilla. The Mirror reports the King and Queen will ride in an Ascot Landau carriage, the same type of carriage Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rode in through Windsor, waving at crowds following their 2018 wedding at St. George's Chapel. Prince William and Kate also rode in an Ascot Landau during their own carriage procession through London following their wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011.

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

The carriage has been seen at special occasions over the years.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Also, interestingly, The Mirror reports that other members of the royal family are expected to attend outside of working royals; only working royals attended last year, providing another change from year to year. That could mean the appearance on the famed Buckingham Palace balcony of Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, and Peter Phillips; all four supported their cousin William at his Buckingham Palace garden party earlier this month. Though they weren’t at the garden party, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’s children Lady Louise Windsor and James, the Earl of Wessex, might be there for the balcony appearance alongside the rest of their family. To this end, it has also been reported that Lady Gabriella Kingston—who earlier this year lost her husband, Thomas, suddenly and unexpectedly—has personally received an invitation from the King to join him and the family on the balcony.

Thomas Kingston

Lady Gabriella has been invited by the King to join the family on the Buckingham Palace balcony at Trooping the Colour this year, following the devastating death of her husband, Thomas.

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“A full balcony would cheer the nation,” Richard Eden wrote in this column for The Daily Mail. “It would be a fillip to the monarchy at a difficult time. It would be a powerful display of unity and strength.”

It will be interesting to see if Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis will attend Trooping the Colour with just their father, the Prince of Wales; it would certainly be a breath of fresh air amid a tumultuous 2024 to see their faces again.

Trooping the Colour is one of the biggest military ceremonies of the year and features 1,600 parading soldiers, 400 musicians, and more than 200 horses, The Mirror reports. It usually concludes with a Royal Air Force flypast over Buckingham Palace, watched by members of the royal family from the Palace balcony. 

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace watch the RAF flypast during the Trooping the Colour parade on June 02, 2022 in London, England.

The royal family taking in the RAF flypast during Trooping the Colour in 2022.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Different though it may be, it’s good news that Trooping the Colour is happening at all this year—amid not just the general election, but what can only be described as one of the most rollercoaster-type years the royal family has seen in a span of many rollercoaster-type years as of late.

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.