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Prince William is flying solo at the start of the upcoming Japanese state visit amid Kate Middleton’s ongoing recovery. The Prince of Wales, 41, is expected to welcome the guests of honor alone, something he’s done with his wife, the Princess of Wales, 42, in the past. However, there’s still a chance Kate may join him for another portion of the visit. 

William is welcoming Japan’s emperor and empress at their hotel to start the state visit

The royal family welcome wagon starts with William when Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan make a state visit to London, England, from June 25 to 27, 2024. 

Buckingham Palace released details about the state visit on June 4, 2024, leaving Kate’s name off of a press release

Kate won’t be with William to welcome the emperor and empress at their hotel ahead of an official welcome ceremony. He’s listed as carrying out the welcome alone. (Maybe he’ll get an assist from Princess Beatrice, who King Charles III has reportedly asked to step up?)

This suggests, per Newsweek, that Kate’s time out of the royal spotlight will continue into July. Kate previously revealed in a March 2024 video announcement that she’d been diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer. Also that she’s undergoing preventative chemotherapy. 

Kate’s absence is “notable.” Why? Because, since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales when King Charles took the throne, she and William have greeted visitors at their hotels together. 

For example, the pair greeted South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa during a 2022 state visit. Then, in 2023, they did the same thing with South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol.

The state visit details came after the palace confirmed Kate won’t be at another big event. She isn’t attending the Colonel’s Review of Trooping the Colour, a rehearsal for the June 15, 2024, celebration. 

The palace didn’t say whether or not Kate will attend the Japanese state dinner

As for the glitzy portion of the upcoming Japanese state visit, the dinner scheduled for June 25, 2024, at Buckingham Palace, Kate’s attendance hasn’t been confirmed. This means the 42-year-old may plan on grabbing a gown from her closet and sporting a tiara, as is customary for the occasion. 

Of course, there’s also the possibility Kate will skip the state dinner. While William’s brushing shoulders with dignitaries, she might spend the evening watching reality TV as she’s been known to do during her recovery. 

Or, maybe, doing fun outdoor activities with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, at Anmer Hall, the Wales family’s country home in Norfolk, England. 

There’s no official date for Kate Middleton’s return yet

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At the time of writing, Kensington Palace hasn’t revealed when Kate will return to the spotlight and royal duties. For now, the mother of three is resting and waiting for the go-ahead from doctors. 

“The princess is not expected to return to work until it’s cleared by her medical team,” a spokesperson for Kate said in May 2024. 

Meanwhile, Vanity Fair reported that the royal is focusing on her recovery and isn’t in a hurry to return to work despite having “turned a corner” with treatment.

“There is no timeline, and there is certainly no hurry,” a well-placed source told the publication. “It will be when Catherine feels ready and when she gets the green light from her medical team. But she will 100% be coming back to work, of that there is no question.”

“It has been a great relief that she is tolerating the medication and is actually doing a lot better,” a family friend added. “It has, of course, been a very challenging and worrying time. Everyone has rallied around her—William, her parents, and her sister and brother.”

Kate hasn’t made an official public appearance since the 2023 holiday season. She joined fellow royals on Christmas Day for their traditional walk to church.