This Is Why We Haven't Seen Prince William and Kate Middleton at Royal Ascot This Week
Meghan Markle made her perfectly polished debut at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, but her new brother and sister-in-law were not in attendance — and they have yet to make an appearance at the five-day event.
On Tuesday, the first day of Royal Ascot, William was at another important event in Liverpool, where he opened a men’s mental health unit in honor of a family friend’s suicide. Along with Kate and Prince Harry, William has championed breaking the stigma of mental health awareness in recent years. And on Thursday, William traveled to Nottinghamshire to open a rehabilitation center for injured armed forces members.
The royal dad of three is also busy preparing for his official visit to Israel, which kicks off Sunday. William will tour Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. His trip begins in Amman, and includes stops in Tel Aviv and Ramallah before concluding in Jerusalem on June 28. William’s visit marks the first time a member of the royal family has traveled to Israel on official business.
Kate, meanwhile, has been on maternity leave after giving birth to son Prince Louis on April 23. The royal mom of three’s maternity leave will last about six months, but that doesn’t mean the public won’t see her at events. Since Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding was a family affair, Kate was in attendance, and she also attended Trooping the Colour earlier this month in honor of the Queen’s official birthday celebration.
Since Kate didn’t make an appearance at Royal Ascot in 2015 after giving birth to Princess Charlotte, it wasn’t expected that she’d be in attendance this year. Kate has her hands full back at home at Kensington Palace with the couple’s three children.
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In May, Kate wrote a letter in honor of Children’s Hospice Week and shared details of her “simple” family life.
“Spending quality time together is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish,” she wrote.
Kate enjoyed a polo playdate with her two older children earlier this month. “Kate is a fantastic mum,” an onlooker at the match tells PEOPLE. “She was calm with the children.” Using a British phrase for “run loose,” the onlooker says, “She let them have their head.”
The couple is also preparing for Louis’ next big outing, which will be at his royal christening on July 9. The service will take place at The Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace in London.