Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit the First Battalion Irish Guards at the annual St. Patrick’s Day at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, St. James’s Palace.
The 200 soldiers will march in full ceremonial uniforms of scarlet tunics and bearskins to the parade square at the base. The Duke of Cambridge will attend the parade as Colonel of the Regiment. Middleton will present the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen of the Regiment.
Middleton, who is pregnant with her first child, will be in Lincolnshire, Grimsby on March 5. She will visit the National Fishing Heritage Centre. She will also tour the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service at Peaks Lane Fire Station and visit Havelock Academy.
According to DukeandDuchessofCambridge.org, the royal tradition of distributing shamrocks dates back more than a hundred years. A Spokesman for Middleton said that the tradition started in 1901 when the Irish Guards held their first St. Patrick’s Day parade. At the first parade, Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward the VII, requested that shamrocks be passed amongst the men on parade. Since then, shamrocks were traditionally presented by the Queen Mother.
This year will be the second time the Duchess of Cambridge will distribute shamrocks. Last years she wore an emerald Emilia Wickstead dress coat with a brown Lock & Co hat and brown suede shoes. She wore a gold shamrock brooch that had been passed down through the Royal Family and had been worn by the Queen Mother.
At last year’s parade she presented a sprig of shamrock to the regimental mascot Irish wolfhound Conmeal. Drummer Oliver Vaughey, who is also a dog handler said, “He was presented with a shamrock by The Duchess of Cambridge. People saw him shake his collar, probably as a thank you.” Conmeal has been the mascot for four years and always marches at the front of the regiment during the parade.