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King Charles makes a festive concession amid cancer treatment

King Charles makes a festive concession amid cancer treatment

King Charles III is set to take a back seat in his official birthday parade next month, as he continues treatment for an unknown type of cancer.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday that Charles will attend the Trooping the Color birthday parade on June 15, but instead of riding a horse as he did in 2023, he will instead inspect the troops from the back seat of a carriage with Queen Camilla, the BBC reported.

Newsweek I have reached out to Buckingham Palace via email for comment.

Trooping the Color is the annual military parade that celebrates the King’s official birthday each June. Charles’ real birthday is November 14, but since his accession to the throne, it has been officially celebrated in the summer in a tradition dating back to the reign of King George II.

The show includes maneuvers performed by the seven army regiments that serve British sovereignty under the umbrella of the “Family Band.” Every year, the King salutes one of the regiment’s colors (the banner) in the King’s Birthday Parade.

King Charles III at Trooping the Color on June 17, 2023. The king rode a horse in the parade last year but will ride in a carriage next month as he continues treatment for cancer.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The event is traditionally attended by all senior members of the royal family and involves carriage processions between Buckingham Palace and the Horse Guards Parade Square near where the event is held. After the parade, members of the royal family also appear on the palace’s famous balcony.

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Charles will not be the first monarch not to participate in the parade, choosing to drive carriages instead. Queen Elizabeth II rode horseback to the event from 1951 to 1986, when at the age of 60 she decided to use a carriage.

Charles, who was 15 years older than the Queen when she stopped riding in the parade, will perform the ceremony on horseback in 2023, the first time a monarch has done so in more than 70 years.

Concerns about Charles’ health increased in February this year when Buckingham Palace announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He immediately reduced his engagements and was only allowed to resume public meetings in April.

News of the king’s cancer diagnosis was followed by another health blow to the monarchy, with Princess Kate announcing in March that she too had been diagnosed with cancer and needed to undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy.

King Charles and Queen Elizabeth Trooping
King Charles III (left) rides a horse while Trooping the Color on June 17, 2023. Queen Elizabeth II (right) rides a carriage to Troop the Color on June 9, 2018. Charles will use a carriage…

Chris Jackson/Getty Images/James Devaney/FilmMagic

This year’s Trooping the Color is due to see the Irish Guards Regiment, of which Kate was Colonel, have their banner saluted by the King.

In preparation, they participate in a series of training events, including a colonel’s review. After being appointed Colonel of the Regiment in 2022, it became Kate’s duty to supervise these ceremonial exercises.

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Kensington Palace confirmed on Thursday Newsweek Kate will not participate in the Colonel’s review and will instead be represented by Army veteran General James Bucknall.

Unlike Charles, Kate did not appear in public during her cancer treatment. Kensington Palace said she was not expected to return to work until her doctors cleared her mind to do so.

Newsweek I have reached out to Buckingham Palace via email for comment.

James Crawford Smith NewsweekRoyal correspondent based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith And read his stories on Newsweek‘s Kings page on Facebook.

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