The pictures Britain has been longing to see: Frame-by-frame, the glorious images of Kate as she makes her return to public life as she continues her brave battle against cancer

Kate Middleton and Prince William


From the moment the Princess of Wales was first spotted on her way to Buckingham Palace this morning, the nation delighted in their first glimpses of her as she returned to royal duties for the first time in six months.


Kate Middleton and Prince William

Kate relaxed as she smiled and waved to the delighted crowds – making a triumphant comeback to public life in a carriage procession for the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Watching the spectacle from the Duke of Wellington’s former office with her children, her day then culminated with a joyous reunion with her father-in-law King Charles on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

It was a huge relief for an anxious nation who had waited so long to see Kate after her last royal engagement at Christmas, with millions concerned about her wellbeing as she continues chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

The Princess joined what is a family occasion on the national stage – and kept a watchful eye on her children, but appeared to enjoy most of her first day in the spotlight following her diagnosis in February.

Kate and her husband Prince William were first seen today leaving Kensington Palace just before 10am with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to be driven towards central London.

As they arrived at Buckingham Palace at about 10.10am, Kate appeared pensive as she looked out of the window of their car while heavy rain fell.

Behind-the-scenes video footage filmed at Buckingham Palace showed Kate playing with Charlotte’s hair as they prepared to board the carriage without William, who was on horseback with Prince Edward and Princess Anne.

Then at 10.50am, the future Queen looked delighted and smiled as she was photographed travelling along The Mall, one of London’s most famous thoroughfares, with her family in the glass state coach.

Kate was seen smiling and waving, with her children also appearing animated at times – clearly pleased to be back on royal duties together after spending much of the year coming to terms with her diagnosis and treatment.

Kate’s appearance had been in doubt after she missed the final Trooping rehearsal last weekend, but with the King also suffering from cancer the spectacle of military pomp and pageantry became a symbolic statement by the monarchy after a period of uncertainty.

During the day Kate was surrounded by other members of the family, with William, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, on horseback along with Anne, Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and Edward, Colonel of the Scots Guards.

Kate was greeted by a sea of faces as the royal party turned from The Mall into Horse Guards Parade, with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence also together in a carriage.

The Duchess of Edinburgh travelled in a coach with her daughter Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and the Duke of Kent.

The royal party were in the midst of a sovereign’s mounted escort, formed by troops from the Household Cavalry’s Life Guards and Blues and Royals.

In the rear rank was Tennyson, one of the five horses injured when they ran through the streets of London after being spooked by construction noise.

When the royal carriages finally came to a stop Louis was the first to leave, followed by his elder brother George and sister Charlotte.

Finally, Kate stepped down wearing a Jenny Packham dress, hat by Philip Treacy and the Irish Guards Regimental Brooch, as she is the regiment’s Colonel.

In a change from last year, Kate did not join senior family members on a dais, but watched the spectacle from the Duke of Wellington’s former office with her children.

The King also rode in a carriage with the Queen, a departure from last year because of his illness, and inspected the officers and guardsmen on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall from the coach rather than from a horse.