Prince William and Kate won’t mark St Patrick’s Day with a military engagement. Per royal tradition, the couple marked the day by visiting the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow.
However, this year it is understood the event will not be going ahead. And it is unrelated to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to HELLO!, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards are currently deployed in Iraq and South Sudan, so there was no plan to actually hold the event this year.
Prince William is the first royal colonel of the Irish Guards, a position he was given in 2011.
Each year, on St Patrick’s Day, the royal couple watch 350 soldiers march on the Parade Square, led by their mascot, the Irish Wolfhound Domhnall, and the Band of the Irish Guards play traditional Irish airs.
Then, Kate presents sprigs of shamrock to officers and warrant officers, before a march past where her husband took the salute. It is a tradition that was started back in 1901 by Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII.
Prince William and Kate finish the day with pints of Guinness and lunch with the officers.
However, due to fears of coronavirus, many royal engagements have been postponed. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have postponed their spring tour. The Queen’s visits to Cheshire and Camden next week have also been abandoned as a “sensible precaution.”
A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, changes are being made to The Queen’s diary commitments in the coming weeks.
“In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, Her Majesty’s forthcoming visits to Cheshire and Camden will be rescheduled.
“Audiences will continue as usual. Other events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with the appropriate advice.”