Are Kate Middleton and Prince William Not Allowed on Royal Outings While King Charles Is on Tour?

While King Charles and Queen Camilla headed to France for a three-day state visit this week, Kate Middleton and Prince William largely stayed out of the public eye – and there’s a reason for the royal strategy.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, both 41, both had busy starts to their week. Prince William traveled to New York City for a two-day trip where he highlighted his Earthshot Prize environmental project and visited an FDNY firehouse to highlight the importance of first responders prioritizing their mental health. Meanwhile, Princess Kate made two outings in the U.K.: her debut as the Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton. The following day, she stepped out in London to visit Streets of Growth, a charity that works to transform the lives of young people.

King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 76, began their visit to France on Wednesday, arriving in Paris before traveling to Bordeaux for the final leg of their tour on Friday. In those days, Prince William and Princess Kate have been out of the royal spotlight – likely a thought-out strategy to keep the focus on the work of the King and Queen during their tour.

While it is possible to avoid clashes in their schedules during short tours like the King and Queen’s three-day visit to France, Prince William and Princess Kate will likely have engagements scheduled if the monarch’s tour lasts a week or more.

Prince George of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, King Charles III, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force during Trooping the Colour
The British royal family at Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023.CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s visit to France came six months after they originally planned to visit the nation on the first overseas tour of the King’s reign. However, that was postponed due to protests and riots over changes in pensions for French workers. Despite postponing the portion of their travel to France, the royal couple continued with their plans to tour Germany.

Chris Fitzgerald, the deputy private secretary to the King, said in a palace briefing that the program “remains very similar to that which was planned for March, meaning the themes of the visit are also, for the most part, unchanged.”

On Wednesday, the royals were the guests of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, at the historic Palace of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris for a state banquet. Queen Camilla wore French designer Dior paired with the necklace and bracelet from the King George VI Sapphire Suite, a personal favorite of Queen Elizabeth’s.

Queen Camilla, King Charles III, President of France Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron arrive at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the State Dinner held in honor of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles
Queen Camilla, King Charles, President Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron arrive at the Palace of Versailles on September 20, 2023.STEPHANE CARDINALE – CORBIS/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES

While Prince William did sneak a morning workout into his packed schedule in New York City — he revealed he went for a run in Central Park! — he likely headed home shortly after his engagement in the Big Apple wrapped.

While Prince William is not required to be in the U.K. when his father is traveling, he is one of the King’s Counsellors of State — one of the royals who can carry out constitutional duties for King Charles if he is abroad or unwell.

The Counsellor of State position typically belongs to the monarch’s spouse (Queen Camilla), followed by the first four people in the line of succession who are over the age of 21. Currently, those are Prince William, Prince HarryPrince Andrew and Princess Beatrice, Andrew’s eldest daughter.

Prince Charles, Prince Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrive in an open carriage to attend day one of Royal Ascot
King Charles and Prince William in June 2019.ANWAR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE

However, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are no longer working members of the royal family — Harry, 39, stepped back as a senior working royal and relocated to California in 2020, while Andrew, 63, was stripped of his military titles and patronages in January 2022 due to his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Therefore, Parliament felt it was best to expand the cohort to include two additional people who could be called upon to stand in for King Charles.

King Charles’ two other siblings — Princess Anne and Prince Edward — were tapped for the royal role, and they were officially made Counsellors of State in December 2022. The role is a return for Princess Anne and Prince Edward as they were both previously Counsellors of State to Queen Elizabeth before they moved down in the line of succession to the throne.

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