The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow this morning.
The annual St Patrick's Day event has become something of a favourite among readers over recent years.
Prince William is colonel of the regiment, which he was made in May 2011; it was his first honorary position in the army. Her Majesty the Queen is Colonel in Chief of the regiment. As you all remember, the Prince opted to wear the Irish Guards tunic for the royal wedding.
A minute’s silence was held for the victims of the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. The horrific tragedy has been very much front and centre in the minds of so many across the world. The strength and courage shown by the people of New Zealand has been nothing short of inspirational.
A joint statement from William, Kate, Harry and Meghan concluded with Kia kaha - a Māori phrase used by the people of New Zealand, meaning stay strong.
'Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch. We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.
No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.
We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance. We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.
350 soldiers marched onto the Parade Square at Cavalry Barracks.
The 1st Battalion Irish Guards affectionately and widely known as the Micks, are a Light Role Infantry Battalion currently stationed in Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow.
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.
Kensington Palace said: "The Irish Guards have had a busy yet rewarding 12 months with three years of ceremonial duties coming to an end in January 2019. The main focus was on Exercise Askari Storm, a battlegroup level exercise in Kenya. The Irish Guards currently have troops deployed in Uganda, Jordan and Kenya as they also prepare to go onto high readiness from the beginning of April. They will see Number One Company deploying to Georgia in August. From September mission specific training will ramp up for the Battalion as they prepare to deploy on operations to South Sudan and Iraq."
St Patrick's Day is the traditional celebration of the Irish Guards and fresh shamrock is presented to members of the regiment.
The Battalion is made up of five companies with a variety of supporting arms. The shamrock the Irish Guards receive is tucked behind the Cap Star on the forage cap, as seen on William below.
The video below offers a snapshot of life in the Irish Guards.
International Bagpipe Day last week coincided with Prince Edward's birthday, and in true Mick Guard fashion they broke out the pipes to wish him well.
The Duchess presented the shamrock to Officers and Warrant Officers....
And the regiment's mascot...
Domhnall and the Duchess.
Photos of Kate and Domhnall have become a staple over the years, and continue to be a favourite of mine.
The parade concluded with a march-past where Prince William took the salute.
More on the tradition inaugurated by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, in 1901 when a decree stated:
'Her Majesty the Queen is pleased to order that in future, upon St. Patrick's Day, all ranks of her Irish regiments shall wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa.'
The tradition has become synonymous with a number of royals since, most notably the Queen Mother, who had a long affiliation and love for the Irish Guards after attending the annual military parade for the first time in 1927. It wasn't until 1964 she started to present the Royal Shamrock to the Battalion, describing it 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.
The tradition is now very much associated with Kate.
Kate was given a gorgeous posy.
Erin, Jemima and Athene were delighted to meet Kate.
The Duke and Duchess then met members of the Regiment before sitting for official Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess photographs.
The couple met soldiers and their families.
More from the Mail Online:
'Ryan Orr, who has been with the Irish guards since 2004, brought his six-year-old son Kallum to the parade. It is Kallum's second parade, having met William and Kate in 2016. The recruitment warrant officer, who lives in Aldershot, joked: 'He put his hand in Prince William's pint three years ago, didn't you sausage?'
Asked if he was proud of his dad, Kallum said 'Yeah, extremely', adding that he was looking forward to meeting the duchess again. The family later shared a laugh with Kate and William as they recounted the episode. Mr Orr said: 'It means a lot because every (St Patrick's) day we get together... have a good drink and a catch up at the same time.'
Kate meeting Junior Soldiers.
William chatting with soldiers.
A terrific photo from the day.
Finally, The Duke and Duchess visited the Guardsman’s lunch where the longest-serving Guardsman in the Battalion proposed a toast to William and Kate, and thanked The Duchess for presenting the gift of shamrock.
A video from the event.
Below we see Kate in 2012 and 2013 wearing a green Emilia Wickstead coat; in 2014 the Duchess opted for her very stylish Hobbs London Persephone trench; and in 2015 she surprised us in a chestnut brown Catherine Walker coat. In 2017 and 2018 Kate chose bespoke green Catherine Walker creations.
This year, the Duchess chose a deep green bespoke Alexander McQueen coat. The military inspired piece features peplum detail and structured shoulders.
The UFO No More team noted similarities between the piece and McQueen's Military Jacket. It is described as: "Military-inspired peplum jacket in light wool silk. Metal mythical decorated buttons on waist and collar. Concealed button fastening on center front."
A closer look at Kate's green hat. Michelle notes it's similar to several Lock & Co designs.
The Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi Piper black suede block heel pumps. They retail for $695 at My Theresa.
Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Special Edition Green Tourmaline, Green Amethyst and Diamond Earrings. They were specially made to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte.
Kate has a busy day on Tuesday. The Duchess will visit the Foundling Museum to see how they use art to make a positive contribution to society by engaging with vulnerable and marginalised young people. We'll also see her join Her Majesty to open Bush House, King's College, London.