Why Prince Edward Attended Banquet With Emperor of Japan Solo


Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie.
Getty Images (2)

Duchess Sophie missed out on the royal banquet with Japanese Emperor Naruhito after Buckingham Palace had her name on the guest list.

Royal watchers were quick to notice that Prince Edward attended the event solo on Wednesday, June 26. Prior to the banquet, hosted at Guildhall in London, the palace shared a press release listing royal attendees — and Sophie, 59, was on the list. However, this seemed to be an oversight.

Hello! Magazine reported on Thursday, June 27, that the palace’s press release included “an error,” and only Edward, 60, was ever set to attend.

“The Duchess had a prior commitment which would have made the practicalities of attending the Guildhall banquet difficult,” the same Hello! Magazine report read. The Court Circular revealed that she was attending the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers’ Festival of Sport in Wiltshire on Wednesday.

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Aside from Edward, no other royal family members were present, per the Court Circular.

Why Prince Edward Attended Banquet With Emperor of Japan Sans Wife Duchess Sophie

Ms Julia Longbottom, Prince Edward, Duchess Sophie and H.E. Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone attend the State Banquet for Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako of Japan at Buckingham Palace on June 25, 2024 in London, England.
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King Charles III, meanwhile, was photographed with Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday, June 25. Charles, 75, has been making more public appearances as of late, following the news of his cancer diagnosis earlier this year. While it seems the king has been responding well to treatment, Queen Camilla joked that her husband “won’t slow down and won’t do what he’s told” amid his illness.

Camilla, 76, made the declaration at the second annual Queen’s Reading Room Festival, which was hosted at Hampton Court Palace earlier this month. The queen offered a health update on Charles, noting that he’s been “doing fine” overall.

While Charles’ health is being monitored by royal watchers, the public is more interested in the well-being of Princess Kate Middleton, who announced her cancer diagnosis in late March. The Princess of Wales, 42, has been laying low since news of her illness came to light.

Kate announced her cancer diagnosis in a video released worldwide on March 22. Her first public outing came at Trooping the Colour on June 15.

Initially, it was reported that Kate would not attend the annual event, which celebrates the reigning monarch’s birthday. However, on June 14, the princess revealed her plans to attend in a statement that also acted as a major health update.

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“I am making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days,” she wrote alongside a new photo, her first since the cancer diagnosis. “On those bad days you feel weak, tired and you have to give in to your body resting. But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well.”

Kate noted that she would be undergoing treatment for “a few more months” but started to “do a little work from home.” She then confirmed her Trooping the Colour appearance, teasing “a few public engagements over the summer.”

“I am learning how to be patient, especially with uncertainty,” she concluded. “Taking each day as it comes, listening to my body, and allowing myself to take this much needed time to heal.”

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