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Prince William and Kate Middleton return from Maldives to make first joint appearance of the year

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Prince William and Kate Middleton have returned from their holiday in Maldives and are preparing to carry out their first public engagement as a couple this year. 

William and Kate's paradise resort

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who jetted off on a luxury holiday on the sunny islands last week, will attend the annual St Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot on Monday.

On Monday William and Kate will make their first public appearance together this year

The engagement will be the first time the couple have officially been seen together since Christmas Day, when they attended the traditional church service at Sandringham with other members of the royal family.

Prince William tells churchgoers about George's first ever Christmas morning

This will be the third time Kate has visited 1st Battalion Irish Guards and their Irish Wolfhound mascot, Conmael, who are based at the Hampshire barracks.

In 2013 pregnant Kate told a guardsman she was hoping for a boy

William will attend the Parade as Colonel of the regiment while Kate will present the traditional springs of shamrock to officers and guardsmen.

After the parade, William and Kate, who hold the Irish title of Baron and Lady Carrickfergus, will meet members of the regiment, before sitting for Officers' and Sergeants' Mess photographers.

They will then visit the Guardsmens' cookhouse before taking lunch privately in the Officers' Mess.

Kate attended the parade alone in 2012

Royal watchers and fashionistas alike will be keen to see what the Duchess chooses to wear for the occasion as she has worn the same green Emilia Wickstead dress coat on both of her previous visits.

Duchess of Cambridge reveals she's hoping for a boy

Kate was five months pregnant when she attended the parade last year. Luckily for the Duchess, William was by her side when she suffered a slight mishap on the day, catching the heel of her black court shoe in a grate, but she was able to lean on him for support while bending down to dislodge the heel.

Two young girls greeted the Duchess and gave her a posy of flowers

Guards at the barracks will no doubt be keen to congratulate the Duke and Duchess on the birth of Prince George as last year Kate revealed to one soldier that she was hoping that she and William would have a boy.

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