Kate Middleton misses her traditional appearance at Irish Guards St Patrick’s Day parade

By Staff

The Princess of Wales, who is the Colonel of the Irish Guards, was given three cheers after being forced to miss this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade while she continues to recover from abdominal surgery

Princess Kate was given a rousing three cheers by Irish Guards during a St Patrick’s Day parade.

The Princess of Wales, who is the Colonel of the regiment, had to miss the St Patrick’s Day turnout as she continues to recover from abdominal surgery and will not return to public duties until after Easter.

In years gone by, both she and William have marked St Patrick’s Day by paying a visit to the Irish Guards at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, where the princess has presented them with shamrocks. In the absence of Kate, Lady Ghika, wife of the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel gave out the shamrocks.

Dressed in a plum coat dress, Lady Ghika also presented the Irish Guards’ mascot, Seamus the dog, with a shamrock, as is tradition at the parade. This morning on the official Prince and Princess of Wales social media channel the royals wished a happy St Patrick’s Day and “Sláinte to all those celebrating today!”.

And Irish Guards gave her three cheers during the parade. The ArmyInLondon X account wrote: “In keeping with tradition wherever they are in the world the @irish_guards give a rousing three cheers for the Colonel of the Regiment HRH the Princess of Wales at their St Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot.”

Kate has been at the centre of public attention and was forced to issue a public apology for digitally altering a photo of herself and her children released to mark Mother’s Day last week. The image, taken by the Prince of Wales, was the first to be issued since the princess’ surgery and came amid outlandish speculation about her condition on social media.

But it was withdrawn with a “Kill” notice by international picture agencies hours later, and the UK’s PA news agency on Monday, because of suspicions it had been manipulated. Kate later said sorry with a statement on social media which read: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C.”

Kate was later spotted leaving Windsor in a car with William as he was driven to the Commonwealth Day service in London. The princess was not attending the service, but was understood to have a private appointment. Despite calls for the original to be published, Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the unedited photograph of Kate and her children.

Meanwhile, last year was Kate’s first time attending the St Patrick’s Day parade as Colonel of the Irish Guards regiment, having taken over the role from her husband. For the occasion, she wore a teal custom Catherine Walker coat and matching hat and presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the officers and guardsmen, who in turn issued it along the ranks, as well as to the Irish wolfhound regimental mascot.

The parade concluded with a royal salute and march-past, where Kate took the salute as the new Colonel. After in a speech, Kate said: “I really couldn’t be prouder to stand in front of you here today. It really is a true honour to be your Colonel. I am here to listen to you, to support you, and to champion you in all you do – this is a responsibility I do not take lightly.”

She continued: “Before I close, however, I want to thank Colonel William. He has always talked about his fierce pride for this Regiment. I know he will continue to support us all in the work we do.” After the parade the couple met the Irish Guards Association, which is made up of past members of the Irish Guards. The visit ended indoors in a packed hall with William taking a pint of Guinness and Kate nursing a half pint.

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