Duchess of Cambridge Presents Shamrocks to Irish Guards on St. Patrick's Day

Posted on March 17, 2012

The Duchess of Cambridge undertook her first solo military function on St. Patrick's Day. Catherine visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at Mons Barracks to present shamrocks to the men, as has been tradition since 1901. The Duchess looked stunning in a green belted coat dress by Emilia Wickstead. She accessorized with a smart chocolate brown hat by Lock & Co and brown suede pumps. She also wore a gold Cartier shamrock brooch, which was loaned to her for the occasion. The brooch is a royal heirloom first worn by Queen Alexandra. The Queen Mother always wore the brooch when she visited the Irish Guards for this ceremony. The presenting of shamrocks dates back to the regiment's first St Patrick's Day in 1901, when Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward II, first handed out the shamrocks.

Catherine was given a royal salute. She then observed a parade of the soldiers and presented shamrocks to 40 officers as a memorial of the day. Even Conmael, the six year old Irish Wolfhound (who is the regimental mascot) got a shamrock pinned to his collar, which he immediately tried to shake off. Conmael had been specially groomed for the royal visit and seemed to take to her. This video starts out quietly, but don't raise the volume too much. At the end the troops toast the Duchess with beer and it gets a bit loud. Take a look: