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An Unexpected Royal Family Member Took Kate Middleton’s Spot in a New Portrait

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An Unexpected Royal Family Member Took Kate Middleton’s Spot in a New Portrait

King Charles, Queen Camilla, and Prince William all returned for this year’s Order of the Thistle ceremony in Scotland, though, fans quickly noticed Kate Middleton’s absence. While many onlookers were undoubtedly hoping Princess Kate would be by her husband‘s side at the event, another royal family member took her place as she continues her journey to recovery following her cancer diagnosis.

Prince Edward joined the king, queen, and Prince of Wales at St. Giles’ Cathedral today as part of the annual Royal Week in Scotland. Charles has been a part of Scotland’s greatest order of chivalry since 1977, with William joining in 2012. Meanwhile, this year’s service marked Camilla and Edward’s official welcome into the order.

They commemorated the day with an official portrait posted to the royal family’s social media pages. In it, they each donned the traditional uniform of a green velvet robe, featuring the order’s insignia, and white-plumed hats.

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“The King and Queen with The Prince of Wales (known as The Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland) and The Duke of Edinburgh following the Thistle Service at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh today,” the caption read.

An hour earlier, Kensington Palace shared a montage from the ceremony. The clip captured moments such as William walking down a corridor in his garb, Charles smiling while chatting with participants, and Duchess Sophie accompanying her husband Edward.

“Celebrating men and women who have contributed so much to life in Scotland at this special ceremony in Edinburgh today,” the palace wrote. “Congratulations to the newest Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Thistle 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿”

The event, which occurs every other year, recognizes 16 knights and ladies, with appointments awarded as a personal gift from the monarch. After they are bestowed, participants engage in a reception in the Signet Library and a lunch at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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Last year, William, Charles, and Camila attended the celebration in their Order of the Thistle garb on July 5, 2023, alongside Kate, who looked radiant in a blue coat dress by Catherine Walker, matching fascinator by Philip Treacy, coordinating clutch, and Queen Elizabeth’s pearl necklace. The princess, or Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, did not wear the custom robe because she is not a part of the Order of the Thistle.

Kate did not make the journey to Scotland this year as she has been undergoing preventative cancer treatment since earlier this year. She made her first royal engagement in six months at Trooping the Colour on June 15, however, her appearance did not signify a return to royal duties. There is, however, speculation that she could step out for Wimbledon later this month.

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