Kate Middleton Misses St. Patrick's Day Tradition As She Continues to Recover from Surgery

For over a century, royal women have participated in a St. Patrick's Day tradition: handing out shamrocks the Irish Guards, a regiment based in Hounslow, London. Since Kate Middleton married Prince William, she has taken over this role, participating in the St. Patrick's Day parade annually (with the exception of 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic).

This year, Kate will not take part in the tradition as she is still recovering from her abdominal surgery. In January, Kensington Palace announced, "based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter." (Easter Sunday falls on March 31 this year.) The Palace added, "The Princess of Wales wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible."

She was discharged from the hospital in late January, and has been recuperating at her home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. A photograph of Kate and her children was released a week ago, but was soon the subject of intense controversy after photo agencies recalled it due to digital manipulation. Kate apologized for editing it, but the apology did not do much to quell conspiracy theories.

the prince and princess of wales attend the 2023 st patrick's day parade
The Princess of Wales at the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

Last year's St. Patrick's Day parade was Kate's first time participating as not just the person handing out the shamrocks, but as the Colonel of the Irish Guards—an honorary role previously held by Prince William.

"I really couldn’t be prouder to stand in front of you here today. It really is a true honour to be your Colonel. 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 at the parade. "I look forward to spending more time with you and your families, seeing your commitment to duty and service in all you do."

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