Fresh from attending the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, the Princess of Wales cut an elegant figure in teal as incoming Colonel during the annual St. Patrick’s Day visit to the Irish Guards.
Kate, 41, visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at the Mons Barracks in Aldershot on Friday to attend the St. Patrick's Day parade for the first time as Colonel, Irish Guards, as she takes over the role from her husband, Prince William.
Last week, the Princess of Wales spent an action-packed day with the battalion carrying out training drills amid snow storms with them.
Swapping the camo jacket and trousers from the previous week, the Princess of Wales wore an elegant coat dress by Catherine Walker, in an appropriate teal green shade for the day out in Aldershot where she took part in the centuries-old tradition of handing out sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen of the Irish Guards.
As is customary, the princess was greeted by the regiment mascot, a three-year-old Irish wolfhound called Turlough Mor, also known as Seamus. She was seen stroking the head of the Irish wolfhound as she presented him with his own sprig of shamrock to mark the occasion.
The mother-of-three complemented the bespoke coat by the British designer with coordinating emerald accessories and a £1,450 Jane Taylor hat. A shamrock brooch which belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth, finished the look.
James Wilson, author of Up the Micks! An Illustrated History of the Irish Guards which features a foreword by the Duke of Cambridge, wrote that the piece was crafted by Cartier and then presented to the Queen’s aunt, Princess Mary by the Irish Guards in 1961.
When Mary passed away in 1965, the brooch was returned to the regiment, and is now lent to the royals on such occasions like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Princess of Wales presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards who, in turn, issued it along the ranks, as well as presenting it to Seamus, the regimental mascot.
The parade concluded with a Royal Salute and march-past, where Her Royal Highness took the salute for the first time as the new Colonel.
“I really couldn’t be prouder to stand in front of you here today,” the Princess of Wales said in a speech to the regiment. “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.”
Speaking of last week’s visit to the regiment at Salisbury Plain, she added: “The day was bitterly cold, and while displaying your skills to yet another visitor was probably the last thing any of you wanted to do, 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.”
Speaking as outgoing Colonel, Prince William thanked the battalion for its service, and said he was “incredibly sad” to be making the speech, “as it really does mean my time as your Colonel has come to an end.”
Whilst listing the regiment’s many accomplishments during his 13 years as Colonel, William, 40, also joked about his inability to finish a pint of Guinness.
“On this, my 13th and final St Patrick’s Day as Colonel, not only am I saddened that I’ll likely fail once again to finish a pint of Guinness…” he quipped, “but I am also sad that I won’t in future see more of you, the families, whose unwavering support enables these outstanding men and women to do what they do.”
Following the parade, Their Royal Highnesses met with the Irish Guards Association, which comprises past members of the Irish Guards, and the Princess of Wales will be invited to inspect the front rank whilst William will inspect the second rank.
Watch: King Charles hosts his first Commonwealth Day reception