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 after the pair made speeches to officers and guards and 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
The couple marked the event on their Instagram account this afternoon, writing: ‘It is a true honour to be Colonel of the Irish Guards, whose enthusiasm, pride and dedication – plus boundless sense of humour – makes them so unique.
‘From outgoing to incoming Colonel, we will continue to support and champion you in all you do,’ the post continued.
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 matched the shade of the Irish Guards’ blue plume. It featured structured shoulders, buttons 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 Waleses addressed the regiment onstage as William spoke of his sorrow at leaving behind his role as colonel, while Kate confirmed her commitment to the position as she succeeds him.
William said: ‘I’m proud of everything [the regiment] stands for – just as I’m immensely proud of every single one of you.’
He added proudly: ‘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 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
The Prince and Princess of Wales marked St Patrick’s Day on their Instagram account this afternoon and shared their own pictures of the event
The royal shared an earthy laugh around a pint of Guinness and cans of lager with the members of the Irish Guards
The guards all prepared to welcome the couple to their barracks ahead of their visit earlier this afternoon
The couple have vowed to continue to champion the Irish Guards. Service dogs and musicians welcomed the Princess of Wales to the barracks
Members of the Guards cheered to the Prince and Princess of Wales with cans of beers. St Patrick’s Day bunting was hung above the door
The couple observed a parade and the Princess of Wales addressed the assembly with a speech
Kate Middleton talked of how proud she was to be the Irish Guard’s colonel in her speech this afternoon
The Prince and Princess of Wales loooked serious as they sat down with the soldiers for an official picture
Cheers! The couple raised a pint of Guinness and a can of lager to the soldiers who had gathered to meet them
One soldier who took part in the parade let his hat rest on his tambourine during the royal visit in Aldershot this morning
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, saying: ‘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.’
William donned his uniform and smiled as he met children during the festive engagement today
Kate looked to be in deep conversation with members of the Irish Guards during her and her husband’s visit
The Princess held onto a glass of Guinness as she mingled around the room on St Patrick’s Day today
The Princess of Wales grinned as she came to chat with members of the Irish Guards for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations
William clinked his glass with a junior rank’s can as he unwinded in the dining hall during today’s festivities
William looked deep in conversation as he raised a glass while mingling with members of the Irish Guards today
The royal couple raised their glasses to celebrate St Patrick’s Day during a visit to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards
Kate looked delighted to be speaking with members of the Irish Guards as she enjoyed a glass of Guinness
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 of Wales met with junior ranks of the Irish Guards and their families in the dining hall
William enjoyed a pint of Guinness in the dining hall, during his festive St Patrick’s Day visit today
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
The royal looked to be in stitches as he recounted a story to his drinking mates in the dining hall
William chuckled along as he grabbed a beer with junior ranks in the dining hall on his visit today
The Prince appeared in good spirits as he enjoyed his conversations today
William and Kate held onto glasses of Guinness as they enjoyed chatting along with other attendees
Bottoms up! William and Kate sipped their Guinness along in unison as they enjoyed a day of festivities
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 shamrocks were given out, the Prince and Princess of Wales fell apart laughing as Prince William’s sprig was 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.
The royal pair basked in the festive atmosphere, grinning from ear to ear on their visit earlier today
The couple mingled with other attendees as they basked in the cheerful festivities of St Patrick’s Day
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
The placement of the sprigs was according to tradition, as seen on the hats of other officers and guards.
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 him 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 regiment.
Kate was invited to inspect the front rank, while William inspected the second rank.
Following the inspection, the William and Kate were due to 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 matched her deep blue stilettos to the rest of her cool-toned ensemble for the festivities today
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
Kate looked delighted to meet with Seamus the Irish wolfhound as she enjoyed St Patrick’s Day festivities
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 of Wales presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to officers and guardsmen today
The princess handed shamrock out as she and her husband celebrated St Patrick’s Day traditions
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 were also due to visit the Junior Ranks dining hall where senior guardsmen proposed 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 a 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 after 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.