Kate Middleton
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Princess Kate Middleton was, unfortunately, nowhere to be found as the Irish Guards held their traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 17.

Kate, 42, is typically seen at the annual event but seemingly skipped this year’s parade due to her recovery from a “planned abdominal surgery,” which occurred in January. Although she previously missed the parade in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kate attended the celebrations last year for the first time since being named the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards. She would often be seen at the holiday event over the years alongside her husband, Prince William, who held the position before her. (William became honorary Colonel of the Welsh Guards when his wife got her new title in December 2022.)

During the March 2023 celebration, Kate said it was “a true honor” to be appointed the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards. “I am here to listen to you, to support you, and to champion you in all you do — this is a responsibility I do not take lightly,” she said. “I look forward to spending more time with you and your families, seeing your commitment to duty and service in all you do.”

William, 41, did not attend this year’s march either, and Kate’s traditional role of handing out shamrock sprigs for the guards to pin on their uniforms was carried out by Lady Ghika, wife of the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Major General Sir Christopher Ghika. Lady Ghika also stepped in for the Princess of Wales to greet 3-year-old Irish Wolfhound Seamus, the Irish Guards’ mascot, as Sir Christopher took over the salute.

Princess Kate Middleton Misses St Patricks Day Parade for First Time In Years Amid Surgery Recovery

Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton
CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

According to a source, the Irish Guards paid tribute to a recovering Kate at the event. “The Irish Guards will all have Kate in their thoughts and are planning a three cheers to her at the end of parade in Mons Barracks,” the source told Us Weekly earlier this week.

Princess Kate Middleton Misses St Patricks Day Parade for First Time In Years Amid Surgery Recovery

Lady Ghika
HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images

News of her absence comes months after Kensington Palace announced Kate had undergone abdominal surgery and wouldn’t return to any royal engagements until after Easter. Speculation about her whereabouts spiked in recent weeks, leading Kate to share a photo of herself with her and William’s three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — on U.K. Mother’s Day on March 10. After the pic was shared, however, several international news agencies removed it from platforms as it appeared to be “manipulated” by the source.

Everything Kate Middleton Has Said About Her Amateur Photography Passions Through the Years 096

Related: Everything Kate Middleton Has Said About Amateur Photography Passion

CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Princess Kate Middleton’s photography passion began when she started taking birthday portraits for her three children. Kate shares sons Prince George and Prince Louis and daughter Princess Charlotte with her husband, Prince William. To mark their kids’ birthdays each year, William and Kate release a new portrait. Eventually, Kate started […]

The following day, Kate addressed the allegations. “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” read a post shared via the official Prince and Princess of Wales X account. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day.”

Aside from the family pic, Kate has only been spotted in blurry car photos — one alongside her mother, Carole Middleton, and the other with William.

“Kate has just recently started to open up to members of her inner circle about the nature of her operation and recovery process,” a source revealed in the latest issue of Us Weekly, claiming her surgery has been in a “shroud of secrecy.” “Only a few people know what’s really going on, and they’re tight-lipped.”

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