William and Kate To Attend Commonwealth Games After 2014 Debut With Harry

Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to attend the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England after the couple first attended the event with Prince Harry in 2014.

The games will run from July 28 to August 8 and feature 4,500 sportsmen and women from 72 nations, with members of the royal family attending separate days to watch the events.

According to an announcement from Buckingham Palace, William and Kate are scheduled to attend on August 2, which will feature, among other events, aquatics, wheelchair basketball, badminton and gymnastics.

Traditionally Queen Elizabeth II would be expected to officially open the games when Britain is the host nation, as she did in 2002 in Manchester and 2014 in Glasgow.

Prince William, Harry and Kate Commonwealth Games
Prince William, center, and Kate Middleton, right, first attended the Commonwealth Games with Prince Harry, left, in Glasgow in 2014. Prince Charles, inset, right, will deputize for the queen, inset, left, at the 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Birmingham, England. Chris Jackson/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

This year, however, it has been announced that Prince Charles would represent the monarch at the opening ceremony, accompanied by his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The announcement follows the scaling back of the 96-year-old queen's public appearances in the wake of a series of health and mobility issues that have arisen over the past year.

Charles has seen his number of public engagements increase as he has been asked to deputize for his mother at official events such as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June and most notably the State Opening of Parliament in May.

The queen has adopted a new working model which sees her public appearances not announced beforehand, leaving the decision whether to attend events to be made on the day in consultation with her doctors.

The most recent engagement undertaken by the queen was a visit to a newly refurbished hospice close to her Windsor Castle home on July 15. She was accompanied by her daughter, Princess Anne.

The news that William and Kate will attend the Commonwealth Games comes as the couple have been seen at a number of sports events this year including the Six Nations rugby union match between England and Wales, Royal Ascot and Wimbledon.

The couple first attended the Commonwealth Games in 2014 alongside Prince Harry, with the trio photographed together watching the field hockey and gymnastics events in Glasgow. Harry was still a serving member in the armed forces at the time.

The reported royal rift that has developed between William and Harry in recent years has been pulled into focus with the recent publication of a sensational biography by British author Tom Bower.

Royals Opening The Commonwealth Games
Queen Elizabeth II is photographed at the the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23, 2014, left, and Prince Charles opens the games in Australia on April 4, 2018. The queen has traditionally opened the Commonwealth Games when held in Britain but Charles is to deputize on her behalf for the 2022 games in Birmingham. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The book, Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors, makes a number of claims including that Harry changed his mobile number without telling his family following his marriage and that Meghan Markle hated being compared to sister-in-law Kate.

Harry stepped down as a full-time working member of the royal family in 2020 and in doing so surrendered his official royal patronages back to the queen. One of these roles was as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, a capacity in which he would likely have attended the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

William, Kate and Harry at Commonwealth Games
From the left, Prince Harry, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Edward are pictured at a field hockey match during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28, 2014. Harry, William and Kate attended a number of Commonwealth Games events together in 2014. GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

The prince is currently in an ongoing legal battle with the U.K. government over the security allocated to him when he and his family visit Britain. The current arrangement, legal filings earlier this year stated, left the royal feeling there was "too great a personal risk" to him visiting his home country.

In addition to William, Kate, Charles and Camilla, the queen's son and daughter-in-law Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are due to attend the games over five days as the prince is Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

The queen's daughter Princess Anne and cousins the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will also make appearances.

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