Why Prince William and Kate Middleton are missing out on royal events

By @chelean on
Britain Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - June 20, 2017 Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William at Ascot
Britain Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - June 20, 2017 Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William at Ascot Reuters/Toby Melville Livepic

Prince William and Kate Middleton have been noticeably absent from some of the royal events in the past few weeks. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were all around, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were nowhere to be found. There are simple reasons for that, though.

The newly minted Duchess of Sussex made her debut at the Royal Ascot on Tuesday. Together with Harry, Meghan represented the royal family at the race day. The newlyweds appeared to be everywhere, including last month’s 70th birthday patronage celebration of Prince Charles.

Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Britain - June 19, 2018   Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Britain's Prince Harry look on Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Britain - June 19, 2018 Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Britain's Prince Harry look on  Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

William and Kate, however, were not. They were not at Charles’ celebration and the Royal Ascot. A British royal expert has explained why. And no, it’s not because Harry and Meghan are starting to replace William and Kate at their royal engagements.

Royal biographer Duncan Larcombe told Bazaar.com last month that Kate ­— who gave birth to her and William’s third child, Prince Louis, on April 23 — was still on maternity leave. “It is traditional for new royal mums to take a six-month break from official engagements,” he said.

“The wedding doesn’t count because it was a ‘family affair,’ but other than that, she will pick and choose her engagements.” The wedding was, of course, Harry and Meghan’s on May 19.

Larcombe predicted then that Kate would show up in public next at the Trooping the Colour, Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday celebration. The duchess indeed showed up at the event on June 9. The biographer, author of “Prince Harry: The Inside Story,” added that Kate could hide from the public until October if she wanted to.

William, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Thursday, attended the tribute to the Manchester Arena bombing victims at Manchester Cathedral a day after his father’s birthday celebration. He also did not attend the Royal Ascot because he was at the International Business Festival in Liverpool to give keynote speech.

Royal historian Marlene Koenig also believed that Kate was on maternity leave, but even if she weren’t, she would probably still want to miss out on the Royal Ascot. This way, she would allow the newest member of the royal family, Meghan, to experience royal engagements. It wasn’t apparently much of a hardship as well.

“To be honest, the annual garden parties are seen as a chore. Two thousand guests trying to speak to a royal, so I’m not in the least bit surprised Kate has given it a swerve,” Larcombe said.

Since joining the royal family in 2011, Kate has only attended the Royal Ascot twice, the first in 2016 and then in 2017. According to Hello! royal correspondent Emily Nash, the Queen has invited William and Kate to the event every year since their wedding, but they politely declined until 2016. They were apparently focused on raising their young children before that. William also worked as an air ambulance helicopter pilot before quitting in 2017.

Britain Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - 15/6/16Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Britain Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - 15/6/16Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge  Reuters/Toby Melville Livepic Britain Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - 15/6/16 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge reacts as Prince Edward (R) looks on Britain Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - 15/6/16 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge reacts as Prince Edward (R) looks on  Reuters/Toby Melville Livepic

William and Kate won’t be hiding from the public for long. They will surely be seen early next month at Louis’ christening on July 9.