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Prince William Steps Out Hours After Kate Middleton's Mother's Day Photo Apology

The Prince of Wales joined Queen Camilla and other members of the family at the annual Commonwealth Day service

<p> HENRY NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty </p> Queen Camilla and Prince William attend the Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

HENRY NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Camilla and Prince William attend the Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Prince William is making his first appearance since his wife Kate Middleton apologized for the controversy over the editing of an official family photo.

The Prince of Wales, 41, joined Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day service on Monday. The service began with the congregation singing "God Save the King," then Queen Camilla and Prince William leading the royals in the procession side-by-side.

Although she's usually a regular at the event, Princess Kate wasn't expected to attend the Commonwealth Day service amid her surgery recovery. She is not expected back at her royal duties until after Easter.

However, the Princess of Wales, 42, was pictured on Monday riding in a car with her husband heading to a "private appointment."

<p>HENRY NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty</p> Prince William attends Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

HENRY NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty

Prince William attends Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Prince William's outing came about four hours after Princess Kate issued a statement on social media apologizing for editing a picture of her and her three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. The image, released on Sunday to mark Mother's Day in the U.K., was the first official photograph of the Princess of Wales since her abdominal surgery on Jan. 16. But it led to the palace facing questions after established photo agencies, including the AP and Reuters, withdrew the photo citing concerns over manipulation.

On Monday morning, Princess Kate said she was sorry for "any confusion" about the picture, which was taken by Prince William at their family home in Windsor. In a statement shared on the Prince and Princess of Wales' official Instagram and X account, she wrote, "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day." She signed the note with a "C" for Catherine, indicating the personal nature of the message.

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Prince William attends the Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince William attends the Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Related: Kate Middleton's Condition Is Shrouded in 'Radio Silence,' Palace Insider Says (Exclusive)

After more than a week of questions about Princess Kate's health and social media rumors following her abdominal surgery, the picture was meant to both thank people for their good wishes and calm fears about the royal's health. However, the photo sparked controversy as media outlets questioned if it had been manipulated.

Prince William kept up his public duty amid the controversy as he arrived at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday afternoon.

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<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Queen Camilla attends Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Queen Camilla attends Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Queen Camilla, 76, represented King Charles, 75, who couldn't attend the annual service due to his ongoing cancer treatment, while other members of the royal family, including Prince Edward, who celebrated his 60th birthday over the weekend, and his wife, Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, were also in attendance.

Other royals in attendance included Princess Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
and the Duke of Kent.

This marked a rare appearance at the Commonwealth Day service for Queen Elizabeth's cousins, according to Gert's Royals. While the Duchess of Gloucester has attended the event once before, this year was the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent's first time at the staple on the royal calendar.

Related: Royal Family in Turmoil as Demands Mount for More Transparency: 'There Is Too Much Uncertainty' (Exclusive)

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Geri Halliwell-Horner attends Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Geri Halliwell-Horner attends Commonwealth Day service on March 11, 2024

Spice Girl Geri Halliwell-Horner was among the 2,000 people who gathered at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day service.

In a video message played for the service, King Charles thanked people for their support. "I have been most deeply touched by your wonderfully kind and thoughtful good wishes for my health and, in return, can only continue to serve you, to the best of my ability, throughout the Commonwealth," King Charles said.

The service celebrated the global network of 56 countries with the 2024 theme “One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Commonwealth."

In his address, King Charles made the link with his own lifetime, as he is as old as the institution.

"It warms my heart to reflect on the way the Commonwealth has been a constant throughout my own life — a precious source of strength, inspiration and pride," he said.

Urging people to “work together to understand each other’s perspectives, including the inequalities and injustices which still resonate to this day,” he added that “our diversity is our greatest strength.”

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