On Tuesday, William and Kate were back on military duty at the Mons Barracks in Aldershot to visit the Irish Guards. They were guests of honor at this year’s 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St Patrick’s Day Parade.
In recognition of the many courageous acts carried out by Irish soldiers during the Second Boer War, and on the orders of Queen Victoria, the Irish Guards were formed on April 1, 1900.
This is the fourth year the couple have upheld the 114-year-old royal tradition of presenting shamrocks to the officers and guardsmen of the regiment.
Once inside the Guards’ Mons Barracks, Cambridge’s watched as 200 men from the battalion were put through their paces on the Parade Square following the Band of the Irish Guards. This year, the parade was much smaller than past years as the battalion currently has troops deployed around the world.
The parade, which has been an Irish Guards tradition for more than 100 years, was followed by the shamrock presentation ceremony conducted for the third year in a row by the Duchess, who presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen. The shamrock is tucked behind the cap star on the forage cap.
No matter how hard she tried, the Duchess could not get a sprig of shamrock to stay in the collar of Domhnall, a three-year-old Irish wolfhound who serves as the regiment’s mascot.
The tradition of presenting shamrocks was inaugurated by Queen Alexandra, the wife of King Edward VII, in 1901, the first year of his reign. Other royals who have taken on the job include the Queen Mother and Princess Anne.
After the ceremony, the Duke and Duchess off Cambridge moved to the marquee, where William who is Colonel of the Regiment. toasted the regiment with a pint of Guinness. Kate, settled for a glass of water.
Before they left, William and Kate met with soldiers and their families and then sat for group photographs with the officers’ and sergeants’ mess.
Kate wore a bespoke, knee-length, chestnut brown coat by Catherine Walker. The double wool crepe coat features hidden button closure and a portrait collar.
Completing her ensemble, the Duchess of Cambridge accessorized with a chocolate brown ‘Betty Boop’ pillbox hat with bow by Lock and Co (£245), matching ‘Valerie’ brown kid suede heels by Emmy London (£400), her brown suede Emmy London ‘Natasha’ clutch, and her brown wool ‘Imogen’ Cornelia James gloves with side bow.
Lastly, a look at Kate’s jewelry. She wore her gold Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings and a gold shamrock brooch owned by the regiment and loaned to Kate. It has also been worn by the Queen Mother and Princess Anne.
A look back at what Kate has worn to the Parade in previous years