Kate Middleton to Be Honored During St. Patrick’s Day Parade Amid Absence From Public Eye

Catherine, Princess of Wales photographed during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London, England.

The Irish Guards are preparing to pay special tribute to Kate Middleton during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, though she won’t be there in person to see it.

King Charles III bequeathed the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards title to the Princess of Wales in late 2022 following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Kate’s husband, Prince William, held the title before Kate following his appointment in 2011. William now serves as the Colonel of the Welsh Guards.

The Prince and Princess of Wales have for years been spotted presenting officers with shamrocks at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But this year, neither member of the royal couple is expected to attend as Kate continues recovering from abdominal surgery.

Related: What Happened to Kate Middleton? Inside the Princess' Health Battle, Photoshop Scandal and #KateGate

Instead, the Irish Guards will give three cheers to the princess as the parade wraps up at Mons Barracks in Hampshire, a source with knowledge about the event plans told People. Lady Ghika, who is married to the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Major General Sir Christopher Ghika, is expected to step in for Kate, the magazine reported.

Kate has been out of the public eye since undergoing what Kensington Palace described in January as a “planned abdominal surgery.” Though the palace said the surgery was “successful,” no further details about her condition have been released. In the meantime, she has mostly stayed out of sight and is not expected to resume her public royal duties until after Easter.

In the meantime, conspiracy theories about her continued absence have popped up among royal watchers, some of whom raised concerns that Kate may have gone “missing.” A photo the palace shared on March 10 of the mother of three only fueled those theories after news agencies pulled the photo for appearing to have been digitally manipulated.

Though the palace released a statement attributed to Kate apologizing for the photo, the scandal now known as “#KateGate” has continued amid wild speculation about the princess and her health.

Next: What King Charles Really Thinks About the Kate Middleton Photo Scandal