June 15, 2024

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bitchy | Dunlop: If Princess Kate doesn’t attend Trooping, the focus will be on the Sussexes

Will the Princess of Wales make a surprise appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony for Trooping the Colour on June 15th? That’s the big discussion, and Kensington Palace is allowing the speculation to percolate right now. My guess is that KP is fine with the speculation because it presupposes that Kate is well enough to make the decision for herself, and I’m pretty doubtful that’s the reality (which KP is so desperate to hide). But as I said, that’s just my guess/theory. I could be wrong, and I would feel nothing but relief if Kate is well enough to appear, however briefly, at Trooping. Well, royal historian/expert Tessa Dunlop has some thoughts about all of the Trooping buzz, including her guess that Kate might actually appear. The larger discussion, for Dunlop, is that people need to stop using the Sussexes as a deflection and actually focus on the left-behind Windsors.

Royal historian and expert Dr Tessa Dunlop told the Mirror: “Whether [Kate] will make a balcony appearance on the big day on June 15 remains the great unknown. My hunch is she will give us a wave, but if she doesn’t (entirely her prerogative) questions about Harry and Meghan are bound to surface. These are futile, even in 2022 the Sussexes were out of the picture, glimpsed briefly at a window and not invited on the balcony.”

“This year that balcony cast will have even slimmer pickings if the Princess of Wales stays away. In which case might it be time to review the role of non-working royals? All those cousins Eugenie, Beatrice, and Zara who have long behaved with hallmark loyalty would surely relish the prospect of standing shoulder to shoulder with their King. After all, isn’t that what families are for?”

Tessa noted that this year’s Trooping the Colour will demonstrate how much has altered for the Royal Family – even within just one year. She said: “2024 is not royal service as usual. And nor should it be. Our most glamorous royal player, like her father-in-law and King, has cancer and health must come first. But let’s not pretend Kate won’t be missed at Trooping the Colour. The King’s official birthday parade ties us back through time to centuries of pomp and ceremony. No one does that better than the Princess of Wales who in the last decade has owned the stage as Britain’s most eye-catching stateswoman.”

“The last Trooping the Colour I attended was that bittersweet summer of 2022, the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Too frail for Horse Guards Parade, Her Majesty popped out on the balcony. It was the climax to a great day which saw Charles, then Prince of Wales, on horseback and a Disney moment when, in a pop of colour, Princess Catherine fluttered by in a horse-drawn carriage. The crowd gasped. This was British royalty at its best.”

“Much can change in two short years. The new King will be present for his birthday parade, but won’t review the troops on horseback. There are limits when undergoing cancer treatment at age 75. Likewise for the Princess of Wales, things look very different in 2024. She has climbed the ranks, and with her new honorary role as Colonel of the Irish Guards ordinarily, she would have taken the salute. But these are not ordinary times. Kate won’t attend the Colonel’s Review (Trooping’s rehearsal on 8 June).”

While Tessa considers Kate as “British royalty at its best”, she believes her decision on whether or not to attend will inevitably spark “pointless” questions about Harry and Meghan, who are now “out of the picture”.

[From The Daily Mirror]

“My hunch is she will give us a wave, but if she doesn’t (entirely her prerogative) questions about Harry and Meghan are bound to surface.” Almost as if the palace and the rota has a prepared script, to always deflect to “the Sussexes should come back so that we don’t have to investigate what’s really going on with Kate.” That is exactly what will happen if and when Kate misses Trooping. What’s also bizarre is that in all of the speculation, no one is saying anything about the Wales kids? For the past two years, all three Wales kids have been on the balcony. The kids were on the balcony for Trooping pre-pandemic too. There’s been little mention or preparation for what happens if Prince William turns up solo, with no kids and no Kate.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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