UK government says Kate to appear in June for a ceremony. But the announcement has caused confusion


LONDON (AP) – Britain’s government appeared to have made an embarrassing mistake Tuesday after it advertised that Kate, the Princess of Wales, will attend a Trooping the Color ceremony in June, apparently before consulting palace officials.

The announcement on the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s website drew attention because the June appearance would be the first major official duty confirmed for Kate, 42, since she underwent abdominal surgery.

But army officials seemed to have jumped the gun because Prince William and Kate’s office, Kensington Palace, hasn’t confirmed any scheduled public events for Kate. It’s up to palace officials, not government departments, to announce and confirm the royals’ attendance at events.

The announcement caused confusion amid intense media attention on the state of Kate’s health. The royal has been out of the public eye since January, when palace officials announced that she was admitted to a private London hospital for unspecified planned surgery. They didn’t provide more details, but said that she wouldn’t return to public duties until after Easter.

British media reported that the army did not seek approval from Kensington Palace before publishing details about Kate’s appearance in June, and announced the event based on the expectation that Kate, in her role as Colonel of the Irish Guards, would inspect the troops this year at the annual military ceremony.

The ceremony’s events, annual highlights in the royal calendar, are birthday parades to honor the reigning monarch and usually draw huge crowds to London’s Horse Guards and along The Mall, the promenade outside Buckingham Palace.

This year the Irish Guards are trooping their “color” – or regimental flag – at the ceremony, so Kate, as the troops’ figurative chief, would normally have led the inspection.

Palace officials may not confirm the royal’s attendance until nearer the time.

The royal family is under more scrutiny than usual in recent weeks, because both Kate and King Charles III can’t carry out their usual public duties because of health problems.

Royal officials say that Charles is undergoing treatment for an unspecified form of cancer, which was discovered during treatment for an enlarged prostate. The monarch has canceled all his public engagements while he receives treatment.

Kate was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 29 after two weeks for her undisclosed condition. Palace officials have said she wished her personal medical information to remain private.

Speculation about her health mounted last week when William at the last minute pulled out from a memorial service for his godfather, the late King Constantine of Greece, because of what officials called a “personal matter.”

Palace officials didn’t elaborate, but reiterated that Kate continues to do well in her recovery.

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