The Princess of Wales enjoyed sips of Guinness after she paid tribute to her husband Prince William at the Irish Guards’ St Patrick’s Day Parade as she takes on her role as its new colonel.
Kate, 41, who was radiant in a turquoise coat which matched the colour of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ blue plume, sipped on a pint of ‘the black stuff’ alongside her husband, Prince William, after the pair made speeches to officers and guards ant watched the parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot.
During her emotive speech, the Princess said: ‘I really couldn’t be prouder to stand in front of you here today. 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.’
Meanwhile William said that being Colonel of the Irish Guards has been one of the ‘great honours of my life’.
Kate, 41, attended the event for the first time in her capacity as Colonel of the Irish Guards, following her action-packed day carrying out training drills in snowy conditions with them last week – and today recalled the day as ‘so cold’.
The Prince and Princess of Wales each enjoyed a pint of Guinness, the famed Irish stout brewed in Dublin, on their visit to Mons Barracks in Aldershot today as they attended a St Patrick’s Day parade in a first for Kate since she took over from William as Colonel of the Irish Guards
Against a backdrop of miserable weather, Kate was a stunning flash of colour in a bespoke turquoise Catherine Walker coat complete with a frilled heart-shaped fascinator costing £1,450 from Jane Taylor and proudly displayed a Cartier shamrock brooch on her chest.
The coat, which was custom-made, matched the shade of the Irish Guards’ blue plume. It featured structured shoulders, a buttoned-down middle and was belted at the waist to enhance Kate’s svelte figure.
Her long brunette locks flowed down her back, while her make-up was minimal to enhance her natural beauty.
The mother-of-three kept her jewellery simple with a pair of emerald earrings which she has worn several times before.
Ahead of the parade, the Prince and Princess addressed the regiment onstage as William spoke of his sorrow at leaving behind his role as colonel, while Kate confirmed her dedication to the role as she takes over.
William said: [I’m proud of everything [the regiment] stands for – just as I’m immensely proud of every single one of you.
But he added proudly: ‘I may be stepping aside, but in Colonel Catherine you have a committed, focussed, and already incredibly loyal 11th Colonel.
‘As you serve together over the years ahead, know that I will continue to watch you, with huge pride in having been one of you.’
The Princess of Wales looked radiant in turquoise as she arrived at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot this morning on her first event since becoming colonel of the Irish Guards. Upon arrival, Kate was given a sprig of shamrocks to wear on her coat, before she handed out the plant to the soldiers
The Princess, 41, met with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in a training drill last week in which she wore a sensible camouflage outfit, but was dressed for the occasion today
Kate was effortlessly elegant in an all-blue ensemble for the St Patrick’s Day festivities earlier today
Kate delivered a speech to the Irish Guards shortly after she took over the role of colonel from her husband, Prince William
During her visit, Kate met with two little girls and showed her natural affinity with children as she gave them shamrock sprigs
William and Kate looked joyful as ever as they waved goodbye following their visit to the Battalion today
The Princess of Wales looked touched to receive a bouquet of flowers from two little girls on the visit
The royal smiled as she enjoyed a chat with the two children, looking stunning in a deep blue ensemble
The Prince and Princess were all smiles as they made their departure following the royal engagements
The royals grinned following a cheerful visit to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards on St Patrick’s Day earlier
The Prince and Princess of Wales sat for a group photo during their festive St Patrick’s Day visit today
Larking about: The Prince and Princess of Wales erupted in laughter as Prince William’s shamrock sprig was placed on his hat
The couple shared a laugh as they joined the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick’s Day Parade
The Prince of Wales spoke alongside his wife as they visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick’s Day Parade
A flash of turquoise! The Princess of Wales stood out in her bright outfit as she sat alongside the officers and guards who were dressed in black and khaki
The Princess of Wales chatted to the officers ahead of the parade, while Prince William sat one seat away
The Princess of Wales met with officers and guards following the St Patrick’s Day Parade while she made her way through a half-pint of Guinness
Are you SURE you like Guinness, Kate? The Princess of Wales beamed as she chatted to guards and officers – but didn’t make much progress with her half pint
Barely a hair was out of place in Kate’s outfit as she nursed her half pint of Guinness – however some rain drops could be spotted on her coat
All smiles: Kate kept both hands on her drink as she sat down to chat with officers and guards following the parade, and looked thrilled to be there
Kate looked fascinated and deep in conversation as she chatted to members of the regiment in her first St Patrick’s Day event since becoming colonel
The Prince and Princess of Wales laughed as they took shelter following a rainy parade, while carrying their Guinnesses
William laughed along with junior ranks as he enjoyed a glass of Guinness during his visit earlier today
Kate stood out in her symbolic outfit, the shade of which matches the colour of the Irish Guards’ blue plume of feathers
The Princess of Wales looked excited for the event as she sat down to watch the parade in her first since becoming colonel
Cracking jokes: The Prince of Wales appeared to say something that made one of the officers chuckle
The royals and officers of the Irish Guards seemed to be in high spirits ahead of the parade, despite the dreary weather
The Princess of Wales beamed as she got ready to watch the parade while sat next to officers and guards
The Princess of Wales looked excited to sit down ahead of the parade as she carried out her duties as colonel of the Irish Guards
Before taking their seats to watch the parade, the Prince and Princess of Wales chatted to guards and officers
After carrying out her ceremonial duties, the Princess was pictured walking over to the stands to take her seat for the parade
A shot of the Irish Guards wearing ceremonial dress reveals the striking colour match between Kate’s outfit and the regiment’s blue plume of feathers
While at Mons Barracks, the Princess of Wales addressed the regiment on stage while Prince William looked on
Kate looked confident and elegant as she took to the stage and enjoyed a brief moment of cover from the rain
The Princess looked regal as she and William stood together under cover ahead of the St Patrick’s Day Parade
In her speech, the Princess told the regiment: ‘I really couldn’t be prouder to stand in front of you here today. 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.’
She referred to her visit the previous week, where she took part in an outdoor exercise dressing field casualties while wearing combat gear, adding: ‘All I saw was enthusiasm, pride, and incredible dedication. I was hugely impressed with your insistence that nothing is as bad as it seems, and – most of all – your boundless, irreverent, glorious sense of humour. That’s what makes you who you are and what makes the Irish Guards unique.’
She also thanked her husband, ‘Colonel William’, concluding: ‘Before I close, however, I want to thank Colonel William. He has always talked about his fierce pride for this Regiment. I know he will continue to support us all in the work we do.’
Kate was also gifted flowers by Aoife, 6, and Alice, 4, daughters of Warrant Office Second Class Alistair Wigley and smiled for official Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess photographs.
Crouching down, she said ‘thank you’ and ‘you both look gorgeous’.
As part of the parade, Kate handed out sprigs of shamrocks to officers and guardsmen, which were then distributed among the ranks – and, of course, the Irish Wolfhound mascot for the regiment, Seamus, received one too.
While the shamrock sprigs were given out, the Prince and Princess of Wales fell apart laughing as Prince William’s shamrocks were placed on his hat.
Dressed in a military uniform, William was pictured in hysterics as the bright green foliage was placed on his hat, leaving his wife in fits of laughter as well.
However, the placement of the sprigs appeared to be traditional as other officers and guards also displayed the sprigs on their hats.
And Kate also seemed thrilled to meet the Irish wolfhound, the mascot for the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards, who was wearing a red blanket/coat to shelter from the rain.
The Princess made a fuss of the dog and stroked its chin as it lapped up the royal attention.
Following the parade, the Prince and Princess of Wales will meet with the Irish Guards Association which comprises of past members of the Irish Guards.
Kate will be invited to inspect the front rank, while William will inspect the second rank.
Following the inspection, the Prince and Princess will meet members of the regiment before sitting for official photographs.
The weather didn’t hold up for the royal couple, as they were pictured standing together while the rain pattered down
Photographers holding umbrellas could be seen in the background amid dreary weather as the Prince and Princess of Wales took to the stage
The Prince of Wales, who was wearing military dress, attended the St Patrick’s Day event and was gifted a shamrock sprig which was placed on his hat
Several wicker baskets containing shamrock sprigs were laid out on the table before they were handed out to soldiers in the regiment
Kate and William exchanged what looked like a formal meeting as William attended the parade in his role as outgoing colonel of the Irish guards
Any formality between the pair didn’t last long, as Kate and William could barely control their giggles as they fell about chuckling over the shamrock sprigs
After making sure she’d given the dog plenty of attention, the Princess of Wales attached a shamrock to its collar
The Princess of Wales made a fuss of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards mascot, an Irish Wolfhound dog
The Princess of Wales stroked the Irish Wolfhound’s chin, who was wearing a red coat, and made a fuss of him
Kate looked thrilled as the Irish Wolfhound was brought towards her and she prepared to attach the shamrock to its collar
The look of love! Kate flashed her husband Prince William a winning smile as he joined her at the Barracks
The Princess offered sprigs of shamrocks to several guards and officers, as is tradition at the parade
Despite rain pouring down, dutiful Kate had a huge smile on her face while she handed out the shamrock sprig
The Princess of Wales looked elegant and sleek in the turquoise outfit as she handed out the sprig
The Princess attended the event as her first St Patrick’s Day Parade since she became colonel of the Irish Guards
As rain hammered down, the Princess of Wales protected her brunette locks with her Jane Taylor hat and frilled fascinator
The Princess of Wales chatted to the soldier while handing him a shamrock sprig, ignoring the rain pattering down
The hard-working Princess of Wales beamed as she handed over the shamrock sprig to the soldier
Kate’s appearance at the St Patrick’s Day Parade is her first since she became colonel of the Irish Guards
They will also visit the Junior Ranks dining hall where the senior guardsmen in the Battalion will propose a toast to the couple.
Last week, the Princess of Wales attended the Salisbury Plain Training Area where she carried out military-style drills on her first official visit to the regiment as colonel.
With her hair pulled back into a sensible French braid, she got stuck into a battlefield casualty drill.
Crouching in the snow, she held the soldier’s leg as she was shown how to wrap the wound and check the casualty’s vital signs during basic battlefield first aid training.
As she placed a tourniquet – used to stop heavy bleeding – on his calf, the Princess apologised and said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve done this’.
Her appearance marked the first time Kate has visited the Irish Guards in her new position as honorary Colonel – she was promoted to her first Army role in December, taking over the position from Prince William.
Kate enthusiastically asked questions about the different first aid methods used by medics in the Army as she tended to the fake injury during the casualty simulation. She then applied a second tourniquet and Celox gauze – also used to stop bleeding – to the soldier with the fake leg injury and chest gunshot wound.
Kate patiently waited as the guards handed her a wicker basket containing shamrock sprigs which she then handed over
Mother-of-three Kate looked in her element as she arrived in Aldershot ahead of the Parade, which is her first since becoming colonel of the Irish Guards
The Princess of Wales was a bright flash of colour as she stepped out of the car against a grey background
Kate looked radiant and regal in a bespoke Catherine Walker coat, a Jane Taylor hat costing £1,450 and a Cartier shamrock brooch gifted to her by the Irish Guards
As she was greeted in a military salute, Kate smiled back at the soldier as she arrived at Mons Barracks
Kate, 41, beamed as she arrived in Aldershot and proudly displayed a gold shamrock brooch on her teal coat
The Princess was a bright flash of colour amid a grey, rainy backdrop as she stepped out of the car and was greeted with a military salute
Kate arrived at the event as colonel of the Irish Guards following her visit to a training ground in Salisbury last week to run drills with the regiment
The Princess of Wales looked radiant in teal as she arrived at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot this morning on her first event since becoming colonel of the Irish Guards
Kate beamed as she stepped out of the car into the dreary weather, paying no attention to the rain
Lance Corporal Jodie Newell, 25, who was in charge of teaching the Princess first aid, said: ‘I was so nervous – I’m teaching the Princess of Wales med [medicine] – it was an honour.
‘We were just showing her what we medics do in the Army. She was actually really good, really eager to take part.’ L/Cpl Newell added that Kate took it ‘all in her stride, like she has done it before’ and that it was ‘amazing’ to have her visit the training area, particularly on International Women’s Day.
Afterwards the Princess said that taking part in military first aid exercises brought the realities of their training ‘to life’.
She said that the battlefield casualty drills, complete with fake gun fire and explosions, ‘just brought it all to life’.
The Princess also learnt about anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mine clearance and viewed the weapons systems used by the Irish Guards. As part of the visit, she met guardsmen of No 1 and No 2 companies, who told her about their recent experiences training park rangers in East Africa in methods to counter poaching.