The Royal Family

Princess Kate Pays Tribute To ‘Incredibly Sad’ William As They Step Out For St Patrick’s Day

The Princess of Wales has paid tribute to her “incredibly sad” husband Prince William as they marked St Patrick’s Day in their customary way.

The couple visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Aldershot for the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade, where they both gave moving speeches.

It is Kate’s first time attending the parade as Colonel of the regiment, having recently visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards on Salisbury Plain.

The princess, in a teal custom Catherine Walker coat and matching hat, presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the officers and guardsmen, who will in turn issued it along the ranks, as well as to the Irish wolfhound regimental mascot.

The parade concluded with a royal salute and march-past, where Kate took the salute as the new Colonel.

William, her husband, is the outgoing Colonel, and he spoke of his “incredible sadness” at giving up the role.

He said: “Whilst I am extremely happy to be here celebrating St Patrick’s Day with you once again, I’m incredibly sad to be giving this speech, as it really does mean my time as your Colonel has come to an end.

“It has been one of the great honours of my life to hold that title; I’m proud of everything it stands for – just as I’m immensely proud of every single one of you.”

However, he added: “I may be stepping aside, but in Colonel Catherine you have a committed, focussed, and already incredibly loyal 11th Colonel.”

While in her address, Kate added: “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 continued: “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.”

READ: Princess Kate Debuts Special Gift From King Charles For Commonwealth Service

After the parade the couple met the Irish Guards Association, which is made up of past members of the Irish Guards.

Kate was invited to inspect the front rank whilst William inspected the second rank.

The visit ended indoors in a packed hall with William taking a pint of Guinness and Kate nursing a half pint.

The couple mingled with Irish Guards, chatting about Army life and Saturday’s big rugby clash between Ireland and England.

Kate’s appearance at the Irish Guards’ St Patrick’s Day parade comes just weeks after she ditched her heels and donned camouflage as she joined them in snowy conditions for battlefield training.

Kate paid a visit to the Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire to meet with members of the Guards for the first time since becoming their Colonel.

Despite the wintry weather the princess wrapped up warm for the visit and got stuck in with battlefield casualty drills and could be seen assisting the soldiers.

And she said that taking part in military first aid exercises complete with fake gunfire and explosions really brought the realities of their training “to life”.


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