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Pregnant Duchess Kate will attend St Patrick's Day parade as one of last engagements before birth

March 10, 2015
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In one of her final engagements before taking maternity leave, the Duchess of Cambridge will view a St Patrick's Day parade at at Mons Barracks, Aldershot, home to 1st Battalion Irish Guards. On 17 March, the expectant Duchess, née Kate Middleton, will accompany her husband Prince William, who is attending in his capacity as the colonel of the regiment.

As she has done in the last few years, Kate will hand out shamrocks to the guardsmen – in a tradition started in 1901 by Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII.

Kate 4 © Photo: Getty Images

Kate is due to give birth in mid-April

She is also likely to spend a few mintues petting Domhnall — the Irish Guards' official mascot. The Irish wolfhound has the rank of Guardsman and can apparently be promoted for good conduct. Afterwards the longest serving guardsman in the battalion will propose a toast to the royal couple and thank them for presenting the shamrocks. For the engagement last year, the elegant brunette wore a gold shamrock brooch that belonged to Queen Alexandra.

Kate, who is expected to give birth in mid-April, is trooping on with a fairly full programme of engagements for someone in the last stages of pregnancy.

Kate 3 © Photo: Getty Images

Kate attending the St Patrick's Day in 2014

On Monday, she was pretty in a pink Alexander McQueen coat for the Commonwealth Day service, where she greeted her father-in-law Prince Charles with a warm kiss before sharing a chat with him. Their friendly greeting belied reports that a distance has grown between them because the Prince of Wales didn't see Prince George as often as he would like.

Then on Wednesday the Duchess will spend the day in Margate, Kent visiting the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery to view a special exhibition titled Self: Image and Identity. She will then meet artists whose works are on display in the exhibition and local schoolchildren.

The following day Kate is due at Ealing Studio to mark the phenomenal success of Downton Abbey.

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