Kate Middleton returned to the public eye on Saturday:

Kate Middleton smiles as she peers through the window of the Glass Coach at Trooping the Colour

The Princess of Wales attended  in London wearing a stunning white and black dress and matching hat for her first public appearance of 2024.

Kate’s been out of the public eye for the last six months following abdominal surgery in January, and her subsequent cancer diagnosis.

Despite a difficult few months, the Princess looked well and in good spirits:

Smiling Kate Middleton in the procession

She courageously shared her health news with the public back in March, announcing her decision to stay out of the spotlight as she began a course of “preventative chemotherapy.”

After three months away, the Princess uploaded a statement uploaded to social media on Friday. Giving an update about her health, Kate announced that she’d attend Trooping the Colour. She also confirmed that she’s “making good progress” but that she is “not out of the woods yet”, and that she’s still receiving treatment.

Kate added that she’s experiencing “good days and bad days” and that she plans to “join a few public engagements” over the summer if she continues to feel well.

Trooping the Colour, also known as The King’s Birthday Parade, is an annual military ceremony celebrating the official birthday of the British Sovereign.

Irish Guards Trooping the Colour today


The event showcases a patriotic display involving hundreds of soldiers, horses, and musicians in the King’s honour.

Irish Guards Trooping the Colour today

This year’s parade involved 242 military working horses, 250 military musicians, 40 pipers and drummers, an extremely large dog, and more than a thousand dual-role soldiers of the British Army’s Household Division. (Below, the Irish Guards’ regimental Irish Wolfhound mascot Turlough Mor.)

Irish Guard walks with wolfhound mascot at Trooping the Colour today

The parade begins at Buckingham Palace with a procession down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade.

Kate, Louis and Charlotte at Trooping the colour

The Princess of Wales was joined by her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Charlotte at Trooping the colour

The Wales children looked smart in their coordinating outfits, matching their mother’s monochrome ensemble. This is the third time the children have accompanied their mother at the parade to date.

This year, Kate rode in the Glass Coach.

Kate, Louis and Charlotte at Trooping the colour

The Glass Coach is one of the primary ceremonial carriages of the British royal family. Created in 1881, it was purchased by The Crown for the coronation of King George V in 1911.

The Glass Coach

The Glass Coach makes appearances at various state events each year but is most famously known for its role in royal weddings. It transported Princess Margaret to her wedding in 1960 and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. It also carried Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh after their wedding in 1947.

This is the first time in 12 years that Kate has processed in the Glass Coach — I expect it was a decision made for her comfort, to shelter her from the cold and rain given her diagnosis. I believe Queen Elizabeth II rode in the coach during 2012’s Trooping the Colour for similar reasons.

The weather was particularly unseasonable this year. It was a very wet and windy day:

During some moments of the parade, the glass windows became misty with condensation. The princes and princesses attempted to clean the windows with their hands so they could still wave to the gathered crowds:

Louis looks out of the window of the Glass Coach as it mists up

William didn’t join his immediate family in the carriage. As is tradition, the keen and experienced horseman took part in the procession on horseback. This year, he saddled a horse named Darby.

Prince William on horseback

In his role as honorary Colonel of the Welsh Guards, the Prince wore the regiment’s distinctive red uniform and traditional bearskin cap.

William in his bearskin cap

He rode alongside his uncle, Prince Edward and aunt, Princess Anne.

William, Edward and Anne ride in the procession

King Charles usually rides in the parade on horseback too. This year, he decided to travel by carriage, following his own cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The gold Scottish State Coach being pulled by horse, with the King and Queen inside

He rode in the Scottish State Coach with the Queen.

The King and the Queen

Here’s the Duchess of Edinburgh in the procession. She opted for a beautiful sunny yellow hue:

Duchess of Edinburgh

Her Daughter, Lady Louise in blue florals:

Lady Louise

The procession arrived at Horse Guard’s Parade where the traditional ceremony took place:

Once the Sovereign has arrived at Horse Guard’s Parade in Whitehall, they are greeted by a Royal salute and carry out an inspection of the troops, who are fully trained and operational soldiers wearing the ceremonial uniform of red tunics and bearskin hats.

After the military bands have performed, the escorted Regimental Colour, or flag, is processed down the ranks of soldiers. Over one hundred words of command are used by the Officer in Command of the Parade to direct the several hundred soldiers.

Once the Foot Guards have marched past the Sovereign, they ride back to Buckingham Palace at the head of the soldiers, before taking the salute again at the Palace from a dais.


The king, on the dais, watching the proceedings:

The King and Queen watch on

This year, the Irish Guards ‘trooped their colour’ (or carried their flag) through the ranks.

Irish Guards

The practice dates back to the 17th century when the colours served as rallying points on the battlefield. The honour to ‘Troop the Colour’ rotates through the five regiments of Foot Guards.

King Charles watching the proceedings with Camilla:

Saluting the guardsmen:

Kate and the Wales family watching from a nearby window.

Kate, Louis, George and Charlotte watch on

Last year, the Princess had a seat outside on the dais (pictured below). I expect she watched from inside this year due to the awful weather and her health condition.

After the ceremony, the Royal Family made their way inside Buckingham Palace, to the famous balcony.

The royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Here, they watched the conclusion of the parade, an RAF fly-past.

RAF Fly-past over Buckingham Palace

Here’s a stunning view of the display from above:

A wide shot of the royals waving to the gathered crowds:

Royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

The Wales family on the balcony:

Wales family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Giving everyone a wave:

Wales family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Kate, Charles and Charlotte:

Kate, Charles and Charlotte at Trooping the Colour, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Sharing a joke:

Kate, Charles and Charlotte at Trooping the Colour, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

On Saturday afternoon, the Prince and Princess’s team uploaded a video to their official social media account. The 20 second clip features Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis leaving Buckingham Palace and getting into the Glass Coach. Watch carefully and you’ll see an enthusiastic Louis hop down a set of white steps as his mother, sister and brother walk across a red carpet:

This is Kate’s 12th Trooping the Colour parade since joining the Royal Family in 2011. For both fans of the Princess and style watchers, her appearances have become a highlight of the event. Let’s take a deep-dive into her ensemble.

Kate steps out of the carriage wearing a white dress with black trim and matching hat.


Kate returned to the public eye with her trademark elegance and usual poise.  Her whole look was sartorial perfection!

Kate looks stunning in a white dress with black trim and matching hat.

She chose a polished white dress by Jenny Packham, the palace confirmed.  The fitted knee-length silhouette, which has become a signature style for the Princess in recent years, is adorned with black accents.

Kate steps out of the carriage wearing a white dress with black trim and matching hat.

The frock features a statement bow at the neckline and contrasting stripes at the waist.

Kate Middleton wearing her Philip Treacy hat and Jenny Packham dress with bow.

It’s a bespoke piece, designed just for the Princess. The silhouette reminds me of this Jenny Packham dress Kate owns in three different colours:

It wouldn’t surprise me to learn Kate’s rewearing the white dress on the right, refashioned with a new waist trim and a bow added to the neckline. It would be a sustainable choice for the Princess.

I think Jenny Packham knew Kate would wear the white dress for the occasion.  18 hours before the parade began, the designer shared this VERY similar creation to her Instagram and Facebook pages:

That waist belt is the same as the one on Kate’s dress. The length of the dress and back vent look similar too. Though the two pieces are not identical—this dress has more pronounced shoulders, an added peplum and a collar.

Packham first uploaded the white dress to her social media pages eight weeks ago, to promote her collaboration with Net-A-Porter, a cocktail collection said to be inspired by “Capote’s Swans and the glittering energy of 1960s New York City”.

The capsule collection featured “empowering, streamlined and architectural silhouettes” in a “colour-blocking palette” with “minimal and impactful” embellishments according to the designer.  Kate’s Trooping frock certainly fits this brief.

Let’s look at a few more pieces in the collection. The sky blue dress is WOW:

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