After facing heavy criticism last year for not attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and presenting shamrocks to members of the Irish Guards, both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be attending the ceremony before their flight to Paris on 17 March. Last year, the Duke, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards, went solo. No reason was given for why the Duchess did not attend last year, but it was the first time a female member of the Royal Family missed the event in over 100 years. Catherine took over the responsibility of presenting shamrocks from Anne, Princess Royal.
The Duke and Duchess will visit the Irish Guards in Hounslow at the Cavalry Barracks and present shamrocks after 350 members of the 1st Battalion march on parade. They will be led by their mascot, the Irish Wolfhound Domhnall. Following Domhnall, 350 soldiers will march on to Parade Square. The Duchess will then step forward and present shamrocks to Officers and Warrant Officers who will pass it to others down the ranks.
The parade will then conclude with the soldiers marching past Prince William who will receive their salute. Their Royal Highnesses will then meet regiment members before sitting for official mess photographs with Officers and Serjeants.
After the photographs, they will meet with soldiers and their families. Finally, Their Royal Highnesses will pay a visit to the Guardsman’s lunch. There, the longest-serving guardsman in the Battalion will propose a toast to them and thank the Duchess for presenting them with the shamrocks.
The Irish Guards are known affectionately as “the Micks.” They were formed in 1900 by Queen Victoria. The regiment takes its order from ‘Quis Separabit’ or ‘Who shall separate us?’ from the Order of St Patrick, an order of chivalry founded by George III. It is a footguards regiment that participates in state, ceremonial and public duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace and Tower of London. The Battalion has five companies with various supporting arms.
According to the official website of The British Army, the Battalion is made up of five companies with a variety of supporting arms. According to the official web page of the Irish Guards, the Battalion has been deployed to numerous conflicts around the world including “Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, the Battalion has recently carried out a tour of Cyprus under the United Nations. As well as deploying on operations, the Battalion has also deployed on various overseas exercises to Bosnia, Latvia, Oman, Kenya and numerous other countries.”