Kate, Princess of Wales, became the Colonel of the Irish Guards in December, when King Charles reassigned a number of royal patronages.
The Princess of Wales wowed in teal as she attended the St Patrick’s Day Parade for the first time as the Colonel of the Irish Guards on Friday. Accompanied by her husband – and outgoing Colonel of the Irish Guards –
Prince William, Kate smiled widely upon arriving at the yearly event at Mons Barracks in Aldershot. The royal donned a teal coat dress which she accessorised with a matching fascinator and heels. On her lapel, she also pinned a golden shamrock brooch, in honour of St Patrick’s Day.
The day featured a poignant moment during which Prince William officially passed on the baton of Colonel to his wife.
Taking centre stage, William said he was “incredibly sad” to be giving a speech as it truly meant his time as Colonel of the regiment was coming to a close.
In his address, he expressed his pride and said it had been a great honour to support the Guards, before recalling some personal memories linked to the regiment.
He then spoke about his wife, whom she addressed as “Colonel Catherine”, saying: “I may be stepping aside, but in Colonel Catherine you have a committed, focused, and already incredibly loyal 11th Colonel.
As you serve together over the years ahead, know what I will continue to watch you, with huge pride in having been one of you.”
In her own speech, Kate said she “couldn’t be prouder” to stand in front of the Guards during this important day.
She added: “It really is a true honour to be your Colonel. I am here to listen to you, to support you, and to champion you in all you do – this is a responsibility I do not take lightly.”
Prior to their arrival at the barracks, Kate and William had marked St Patrick’s Day via Twitter and teased their public appearance.
They wrote: “Wishing all our followers a very happy St Patrick’s Day today! Looking forward to joining the @irish_guards this morning to celebrate at the #StPatricksDay Parade.”
During the Parade the princess, who was made colonel of the regiment in December by King Charles, followed tradition as she presented sprigs of shamrock to the Irish Guards’ officers and guardsmen, which they then issued along the ranks.
The sprigs were also presented to the Irish Wolf Hound regimental mascot, with Kate pinning it to the dog’s collar in an adorable scene.
The parade concluded with a royal salute and march-past where Kate took the salute as the new colonel of the Guards.
The joyful day continued after the end of the parade, as Kate met with members of the Irish Guards Association, which includes past members of the Irish Guards.
Kate and William also met some family members of the Irish Guards, including adorable Aiofe, 6, and Alice, 4, the daughters of Warrant Officer Alistair Wigley.
The sweet children offered Kate flowers, which she accepted with a huge smile.
Moreover, during the engagement, Kate was invited to inspect the front rank.
The Prince of Wales, who was the Colonel of the Irish Guards between 2011 and December last year, inspected the second rank.
Following the inspection, Their Royal Highnesses met with current members of the regiment before sitting for official Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess photographs.
The day in Aldershot ended with Kate and William visiting the junior ranks dining hall, where the senior guardsman in the battalion proposed a toast in their honour.
While this marked the first-ever parade Kate attended as the colonel of the Guards, she has accompanied her husband to Aldershot several times over the years.
This first for Kate comes less than 10 days after she paid her first official visit to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards since the new military patronage was bestowed upon her.