After a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic and logistical issues, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will return to the annual parade. Last year the parade was called off due to coronavirus restrictions and in 2020, the majority of the regiment were deployed overseas and so it was cancelled.
Kensington Palace released a statement announcing the exciting comeback: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge, will visit the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Mons Barracks in Aldershot on Thursday 17th March.”
During the parade, the royal couple will present the traditional gift of sprigs of shamrock to officers and guardsmen who will distribute them across the ranks.
Kate has the additional task of presenting the Irish Wolf Hound mascot of the regiment with its own sprig of shamrock.
The parade concludes with a march-past, where Prince William, who has been the Colonel of the Irish Guards since May 2011, will take the salute.
The couple will enjoy post-parade festivities as they meet members of the regiment and have official photographs with every rank within the British Army.
This is followed by a visit to the Junior Ranks dining hall where a toast will be made to the Duke and Duchess by senior guardsmen.
To honour the day last year, William and Kate posted a video on their social media wishing the Irish community a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
The prince was in high spirits in the video as he teased his wife for getting the “easy bit.”
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“We know that for Irish people all around the world, today won’t be the same as normal, but we hope that you can celebrate safely in any case.”
The Duchess stated that “the warm welcome that we received everywhere was a testament to the friendship between our two countries and the strength of the relationship between the UK and Ireland.”
Prince William has been looking forward to the return of the Parade after writing a letter to the Irish Guards that read:
“As your Colonel, I could not be more proud of the grit and determination displayed over the last twelve months and I look forward to the time when we can be on Parade with you all once again.”