The Duke of Cambridge is set to attend the St Patrick’s Day Parade at the Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow on 17th March. In accordance with tradition, His Royal Highness will present members of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards with sprigs of shamrock.
Prince William will be attending the parade in his official capacity as Colonel of the Regiment, a post that he has held since 2011. Following the parade, during which 450 soldiers will march onto the Parade Square, the Duke will step forward to present fresh shamrocks to the Officers and Warrant Officers of the Regiment, who will then issue it along the ranks.
The Prince will then meet members of the Regiment, including their mascot, Irish Wolfhound Domhnall, at their new base. Afterwards, he will sit for the Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess photographs and join the Regiment for lunch before departing.
The Irish Guards Regiment was formed in 1900 on the order of Queen Victoria, who wished to honour the many Irish soldiers who fought in the Second Boer War. Since 1901, it has been a tradition for a member of the Royal Family to present members of the Regiment with shamrocks at the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade. The task was first performed by Queen Alexandra, and later by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and then Princess Anne. Since Prince William’s appointment as Colonel of the Regiment, the duty has been taken over by his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
However, the Duchess will be conspicuously absent from the proceedings this year. Her Royal Highness has been present at the St Patrick’s Day Parade every year since her marriage, including in 2012, when she attended even though Prince William was serving in the Falklands, making it her first solo military engagement. Despite being pregnant with Princess Charlotte last March, the Duchess was on hand to present the sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen during the Parade in Aldershot.
Catherine will, however, have a solo engagement of her own next week. On 18th March, she will attend the official opening of a charity shop in Holt, Norfolk, in her capacity as Royal Patron of East Anglia Children’s Hospices.