Hours before heading to Paris by private jet, Prince William and Kate Middleton got St. Patrick's Day started in (military) style. The royal couple stepped out for the traditional annual March 17 Irish Guards Parade in London, with the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a double-breasted coat, and Wills in his dark military uniform as he attented as a colonel in the regiment.
FULL GALLERY OF THE DAY'S PHOTOSWilliam and Kate at Friday's annual Irish Guards' St Patrick's Day Parade at Household Cavalry Barracks
Kate made a welcome return to the parade after missing the celebrations in 2016 for the first time since she became a member of the royal family. During their time at the parade, Kate presented springs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen of the regiment – a tradition that was started in 1901 by Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII.
The Duchess of Cambridge presented sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen
They then met members of the Regiment before sitting for official Officers' and Sergeants' Mess photographs, along with soldiers and their families. Their visit culminated with the Guardsman's lunch, where the longest-serving Guardsman in the Battalion proposed a toast to Their Royal Highnesses, and thanked the Duchess for presenting the gift of shamrock.
Duchess Kate smiled as she gave a shamrock to the Regimental mascot, an Irish hound
Kate's St Patrick's Day style was right on point in her Catherine Walker custom coat. The bespoke design featured double breasted gold button detailing and contrasting black collar and trims. Kate paid further tribute to the Irish holiday by accessorising the coat with an Irish Guard Brooch and dark green heels. She wore a chic hat and styled her hair in a low chignon.
After the visit, the couple headed off to Paris, where they are carrying out an official two-day visit at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prince William and Kate will carry out a number of engagements during their jaunt, including attending a black tie dinner hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador at the British Embassy in Paris on Friday evening. The visit comes two decades after Prince William's mom Princess Diana was tragically killed at age 36 in a 1997 Paris car accident.
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