The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join the Irish Guards at Mons Barracks for the traditional St Patrick’s Day parade, where the Duchess will present shamrocks to members of the regiment, on 17th March, it’s confirmed.
As the regiment’s Colonel, Prince William has shown a strong interest in the regiment along with his wife who has joined him presenting Shamrocks to the Irish Guards on St Patrick’s day these past few years. The 31-year-old ex-RAF Search and Rescue Pilot was made Colonel of the Irish Guards shortly before his wedding in 2011; The Queen Mother previously held this position for 38 years, until her death in 2002.
The Irish Guards regiment, or ‘The Micks’ as they are widely known, was set up in recognition of the Irish’s contribution in to Boer War. In celebration of St Patrick’s day each year, shamrocks, a traditional emblem of Ireland, are presented. Worn on head wear or the breast of the soldier, Irish Guards officers and warrant officers will receive a Shamrock from Catherine, as well as the regiments mascot, an Irish wolfhound called Domhnall.
The Duke chose to wear the full dress of the regiment to his wedding, red in colour, but wears the officer’s frock coat to the event, which is a black full-length overcoat with ruffles down the front (see picture right).
Since 2012, the Royal couple, known as Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, have attended Mons Barracks for this event. In 2012, Catherine attended the event solo, as William served in the Falklands. It is Kate that hands out the Shamrocks, as tradition dictates it is the wife of the Colonel of the Regiment that presents the symbol of Ireland.
In both 2012 and 2013, The Duchess wore an appropriately green Emilia Wickstead coat and a Shamrock brooch, formerly The Queen Mother’s; notably last year one of her high heels got stuck in a drain whilst pregnant with Prince George, and the couple giggled as she freed it.
After the parade, The Duke and Duchess will head inside and toast with a tot of sherry to the regiment, and meet with families of the soldiers in the mess hall. It was here that Kate revealed she wanted a boy, whereas William wanted a baby girl in March 2013.