Kate Middleton reportedly covered a bar tab for the Irish Guards on St. Patrick's Day when she was unable to attend the traditional engagements.

The Princess of Wales "put £2,000 behind the regimental bar at Aldershot for a party after the traditional parade," the Daily Mail reports.

Kate, a honorary colonel of the regiment that has strong Irish roots, typically attends the St. Patrick's Day celebrations but was forced to sit out this year as she recovers from abdominal surgery. 

(Of course, the royal was also the focus of a media whirlwind ahead of St. Patrick's Day when the photo shared by Kensington Palace of her and her three children for Mother's Day was "retracted" by the Associated Press because it "appeared manipulated.")

Despite the controversy, the official Instagram account of the Prince and Princess of Wales posted a clip on March 17 of the Irish Guards preparing for St. Patrick's Day.

"Sláinte to all those celebrating today! 🇮🇪," the post was captioned. 

The British Army says the Irish Guards “family” is made up of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, Number 9 Company Irish Guards, Number 12 Company Irish Guards, The Band of the Irish Guards, Reserves from Number 15 (Loos) Company Irish Guards (the London Guards), Irish Guards veterans and cadets, as well as the Irish Guards Pipes and Irish Wolfhound Regimental Mascot.

The Army said that on March 17, the Irish Guards were woken just after dawn with the sound of the bagpipes and given a cup of “gunfire” (tea with a tot of Irish Whiskey), before attending a drumhead church service for their Patron Saint, St Patrick.

After an Irish breakfast, 250 Irish Guardsmen marched onto the Parade Square at Mons Barracks, led by their mascot, the three-year-old Irish Wolfhound, Turlough Mor (Seamus), the Pipes, and the Regimental Band of the Irish Guards.

Lady Ghika, wife of the Irish Guards’ Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Major General Sir Christopher Ghika, stepped forward to present the baskets of shamrock to Officers and Warrant Officers, who, in turn, issued it along the ranks.

Lady Ghika then presented shamrock to the senior ranks and a specially made sprig for the Mascot Turlough Mor, which was affixed to the dog’s solid silver collar bearing the names of the 16 mascots who had preceded him.

The parade concluded with a march-past where the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Major General Sir Christopher Ghika, took the salute.

The Army noted that on the "family" day, "all thoughts were very much with the Royal Colonel Irish Guards, HRH The Princess of Wales, and everyone wishes her well in her recovery."

The Army added that the Irish Guards, in keeping with tradition wherever they are stationed around the world, gave a rousing three cheers for the Royal Colonel at the end of the parade and another for the Inspecting Officer and Lady Ghika.

Following the parade, official Officers' and Sergeants’ Mess photographs were taken, and afterward everyone came together for a toast of Irish Stout and a celebratory lunch.

Commanding Officer James Aldridge said afterward: “St Patrick’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the friendships that are so fundamental to our Regimental ethos and identity.

"With our busy and diverse operational schedules, it is the most prominent occasion for the Regimental family to come together, and welcome Micks of all ranks, from across the Army, past and present, and their families.

"We raised a glass to those unable to attend this year, especially those deployed in Africa and elsewhere.”

The Irish Guards Regimental family has gathered at a special parade and celebration in Aldershot on St. Patrick’s Day,...

Posted by The Army in London - HQ London District on Sunday, March 17, 2024