Kate wishes Irish Guards luck as she misses parade rehearsal

Catherine, Princess of Wales departs a sports centre in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Britain, 12 October 2023
Catherine (file photo) revealed in March she was being treated for cancer [EPA]

The Princess of Wales has spoken of her pride in the Irish Guards as she wrote to apologise for missing a parade rehearsal on Saturday.

Catherine would usually attend the so-called Colonel's Review - held before next week's Trooping the Colour - but is taking time away from her official duties after treatment for cancer.

In a letter signed Colonel Catherine, the princess said it was a "great honour" to be the group's ceremonial leader, and that she hoped to "be to able to represent you all once again very soon".

In March, she revealed she was receiving treatment for cancer, discovered in post-operative tests following abdominal surgery in January.

Last week, a Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The princess is not expected to return to work until it's cleared by her medical team."

Picture of Princess Catherine's letter being read to members of Irish Guards regiment
The Irish Guards shared the letter, which was read to regiment members [Irish Guards]

Catherine has not attended any official events since Christmas.

The Irish Guards posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, showing her letter being read to members of the regiment.

Members of the Household Cavalry march with Irish Guards mascot dog Turlough Mor (Seamus)
Hundreds of soldiers took part in the Colonel's Review rehearsal for Trooping the Colour [Reuters]

"The Irish Guards were deeply touched to receive a letter from our colonel, Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales this morning," it said in the post.

"We continue to wish Her Royal Highness well in her recovery and send her our very best wishes," it added.

An Irish Wolfhound, the regimental mascot of the Irish Guards, takes part in the Colonel's Review at Horseguards Parade in central London, Britain, 08 June 2024
Turlough Mor (Seamus), an Irish wolfhound, is the mascot of the Irish Guards [Reuters]

The Trooping of the Colour, due to be held on 15 June, has marked the King's birthday for more than 260 years.

Traditionally it sees the Royal Family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

King Charles has confirmed that he will take part despite also undergoing cancer treatment.

Britain's Catherine Princess of Wales visits the Irish Guards, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, Britain, March 8, 2023
Catherine (file photo) is a colonel of the Irish Guards regiment [Reuters]

Last year, the King inspected troops from horseback during the event, which is filled with pomp and military pageantry.

This time, he will conduct the review seated in an Ascot Landau carriage with Queen Camilla.