The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, has broken her silence following her absence from a major rehearsal for Trooping the Colour, expressing her regret and pride in the Irish Guards regiment in an emotional letter. As the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards, a position appointed to her by King Charles last year, Middleton traditionally would have taken the salute at the Colonel's Review, the ceremonial rehearsal held ahead of the main Trooping the Colour event.

In her letter, shared on the Irish Guards' X account (formerly Twitter), Middleton wrote, "I wanted to write to let you know how proud I am of the entire regiment ahead of the Colonel's Review and Trooping the Colour. I appreciate everyone Trooping this year has been practising for months, and dedicating many hours to ensure their uniforms and drill are immaculate."

The Princess of Wales, who continues her recovery following her cancer diagnosis and treatment, acknowledged the honor of being the regiment's Colonel and expressed her deep regret for being unable to attend the rehearsal. "Being your Colonel remains a great honour, and I am very sorry that I am unable to take the salute at this year's Colonel Review. Please pass my apologies to the whole Regiment, however, I do hope I can represent you all again soon," she wrote.

Middleton concluded her letter with the Irish Guards' motto, "Quis Separabit," which means "Who shall separate us?" and signed it "Colonel Catherine." The regiment also shared a video of the letter being read out to the troops, who responded with a round of applause.

In Middleton's absence, Lieutenant General James Bucknall will replace her as the Inspecting Officer at the Colonel's Review. Despite her ongoing recovery, the Princess of Wales is reportedly considering making an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the Trooping the Colour ceremony next weekend, if her health allows.

Palace sources have emphasized that Middleton is not expected to return to official duties until she receives the all-clear from her doctors, and any appearances at royal events would be sporadic at best. A source told Us Weekly that the Princess of Wales "may never come back in the role that people saw her in before" due to her ongoing treatment and recovery.

The Irish Guards expressed their gratitude for Middleton's letter, posting on X, "We continue to wish Her Royal Highness well in her recovery and send Her our very best wishes." The regiment also revealed that in March, when Middleton missed the St. Patrick's Day parade due to her procedure, she generously put down a $2,500 tab for the Irish Guard at the regimental bar in Aldershot, UK.

Trooping the Colour, an annual ceremonial Horse Guards Parade held each June in London, celebrates King Charles' official birthday. This year, the King, who has also been undergoing cancer treatment, will attend the celebrations but will travel in an Ascot Landau carriage with Queen Camilla instead of riding on horseback to inspect the troops, in keeping with palace guidance to carefully review his working comeback for each engagement.