The Duchess watched Prince William and two hundred soldiers march to the parade square at the barracks, wearing full ceremonial uniform of scarlet tunics and bearskins. William was made colonel of the regiment in May 2011, his first honorary position in the army and today marks his first visit to Mons Barracks. The Prince opted to wear his ceremonial No 1 uniform instead of the tunic he wore to the royal wedding. For the first time William wore an insignia aide-de-camp to the Queen on his shoulder, which was bestowed on him today.
More on the 1st Batallion Irish Guards from the official website:
'The Irish Guards, part of the Guards Division, a Foot Guards regiment based in Mons Barracks, Aldershot. The current regiment was formed in 1900 by order of Queen Victoria in recognition of the many courageous acts carried out by Irish soldiers in the Second Boer War.
The regiment takes its motto "Quis Separabit" or "Who shall separate us?" from the Order of St. Patrick, an order of chivalry founded by George III. The regiment is involved in public and ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James's Palace and The Tower of London.
The Irish Guards is a Light Role Infantry Battalion affectionately, and widely, known as The Micks.'
Kate caught her heel in a grate but luckily her prince came to the rescue :)
Prince William saw the funny side to Kate's stumble. No doubt all us ladies can attest to the hazards of heels.
We discussed titles and styles last week and many of you will recall Kate is styled as Baroness Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
|Mark Stewart Twitter|
Kate presented traditional sprigs of shamrock to the officers and guardsmen including William, as well as Domhnall, the Irish Guards' wolfhound mascot. The tradition dates back to 1901 when Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII sent boxes of shamrocks to the then, new regiment.
The Queen Mother had a long affiliation and love for the Irish Guards. Her Majesty first attended the the annual military parade in 1927 but it wasn't until 1964 that she started to present the Royal Shamrock to the Battalion. She described presenting the shamrock as a "great pleasure which has enabled me to forge a link with the Regiment I greatly cherish." The regiment supplied the pallbearers for her funeral in 2002.
Kate also attended last year on behalf of William, because he was deployed in the Falklands for the RAF. The ceremony marked the Duchess's first solo military engagement and the start of an ongoing connection to the regiment. It's wonderful to see Kate continuing the tradition.
As a dog lover, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Domhnall and I think Kate enjoyed meeting him :). The seven month old Irish wolfhound came to the Regiment from Northern Ireland a few months ago and unbeknownst to the "playful pup" all eyes were on him today as he led the way as the new regimental mascot for the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. Domhnall whose name means "World Leader" in Gaelic has been on a steep learning curve with handler David Steed in preparation for today. I think he did a stellar job, do you?
While talking to Guardsmen Lee Wheeler Kate revealed she would like a baby boy:
'I was talking to her about that baby of course. I asked her do you know if it's a girl or a boy and she said not yet. She said "I'd like to have a boy and William would like a girl. That's always the way it is". I asked if she had any names yet and she said no.'
Kate looked delighted to receive a posy of flowers by five-year-old Maisie Purcell, daughter of Company Sergeant Major Andy Purcell. As she bent down to greet Maisie Kate said "Very nice to meet you, thank you for the flowers, they're very pretty and spring-like. Have you seen the dog?".
The Cambridges also took a tour of the barracks including the Officers' and Sergeants' Mess where they privately enjoyed lunch.
Kate elected to rewear the green Emilia Wickstead coat dress she wore to last years parade. The Autumn/Winter 2010 piece features a fitted top and a full skirt completed with a belted waist. It is a classic and sophisticated piece exuding timeless elegance. I know many of you loved the piece the first time Kate wore it and had hoped we would see it again. The Duchess wore a black turtle-neck underneath.
The Duchess wore her black Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co 'Fairy Tale' hat and wore her hair in an elegant updo, which added a new dimension to the look.
As expected, Kate wore the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch again this year. The three-leaf brooch which has been worn by the Queen Mother and Prince Anne, belongs to the regiment and they determine to whom it be loaned. Kate honoured the day with a sprig of shamrock on her lapel.
Kate accessorised with her pretty emerald earrings.
Kate completed the look with her Cornelia James Bow Gloves, Episode 'Angel' suede shoes and black tights.
I thought Kate looked great today, her bump is really starting to show and she looks, happy, radiant and most importantly healthy.
You can watch a video at ITN Source and youtube.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig!
In other news, William and Kate were spotted doing some antique shopping in Berkshire yesterday. Tweeter Meg shared a funny incident occurred when her dad accidentally walked out in front of their car (with thanks to @KateWillWatch and Julie). Thankfully no one was hurt and they all enjoyed a good giggle about it :)
We'll next see the Duke and Duchess on Tuesday when they visit Child Bereavement UK. Hello! reports Kate has an upcoming engagement with the Queen, attending the anniversary of the Bakerloo underground line. I'll let you all know if anything is confirmed.