Princess Kate Middleton made a rare statement amid her cancer battle as she apologized to the Irish Guards for missing their final Trooping the Colour rehearsal.

The Irish Guards shared an apology letter signed by the Princess of Wales, 42, and dated June 3 on their X account on Saturday, June 8. “I wanted to write and let you know how proud I am of the entire Regiment ahead of the Colonel’s review and Trooping of the Colour. I appreciate everyone trooping this year has been practicing for months and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drill are immaculate,” Kate wrote.

The princess, who became the honorary colonel of the Irish Guards after King Charles III appointed her to the position last year, continued, “Being your colonel remains a great honor, and I am very sorry that I’m unable to take the salute at this year’s Colonel’s review. Please pass my apologies to the whole Regiment, however I do hope that I am able to represent you all once again very soon.”

“Please send my very best wishes and good luck to all involved,” Kate concluded.

“The Irish Guards were deeply touched to receive a letter from our Colonel, Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales this morning,” the account captioned the post. “We continue to wish Her Royal Highness well in her recovery and send Her our very best wishes.”

Trooping the Colour is an annual ceremonial event in London that celebrates the official birthday of the British sovereign — Charles, 75. However, the event does not necessarily correspond with the sovereign’s actual birth date. Charles’ birthday is November 14, but this year’s Trooping the Colour parade takes place on June 15.

Kate Middleton Apologizes to Irish Guards Ahead of Parade
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Despite her role as the honorary colonel of the Irish Guards, Kate is not taking part in their final rehearsal, known as the Colonel’s Review, on June 8 due to her ongoing battle with cancer. A Kensington Palace spokesperson confirmed her absence on May 30.

“This year General James Bucknall K.C.B., C.V.O will carry out the role of Inspecting Officer,” the spokesperson told NBC News. “On behalf of HRH The Princess of Wales at Colonel’s Review as she continues her recovery.”

It’s unclear, however, if Kate plans to attend the actual Trooping the Colour event on June 15, as she has every year since she married Prince William in 2011.

Kate announced her cancer diagnosis via a video statement on March 22.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment,” she said.

The princess continued, “This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family. As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ​OK. As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.”

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