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Prince William and Kate Middleton surprise royal fans with St Patrick's Day appearance

The Cambridges visited Ireland in March 2020

Danielle Stacey

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a public appearance to mark St Patrick's Day on Wednesday.

In a short film for the Irish government to mark its national day, Prince William started off the couple's message by speaking in Irish, saying: "Beannachtai na Feile Padraig oraibh [Happy St Patrick's Day]."

Kate, wearing an apt emerald green boucle jacket and her Daniella Draper shamrock necklace, said: "We're delighted to wish you all a very Happy St Patrick's Day."

"How come you got that easy bit?" William quipped to his wife. "We were so thrilled to be able to visit Ireland just over a year ago, a few short weeks before all of our lives were turned upside down by the pandemic."

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WATCH: William and Kate's special St Patrick's Day message

Kate added: "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."

William: "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 couple signed off their message by saying: "Happy St Patrick's Day."

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The couple's message was included in a special film

The Cambridges carried out their first official tour of Ireland in March 2020, where they visited Dublin's Garden of Remembrance, as well as the Guinness Storehouse.

The couple also tried their hand at Gaelic sports and enjoyed a romantic walk along a coastal cliff path near Howth in County Dublin.

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The Cambridges with President Michael D. Higgins and wife Sabina

Traditionally William and Kate attend the St Patrick's Day parade with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, where the Duke gives the salute and the Duchess hands out shamrocks to the officers.

Last year's public event did not take place as the majority of the regiment were on deployment overseas.

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William and Kate at the St Patrick's Day parade in 2019

It comes after the Queen spoke of fond memories of her own historic visit to Ireland as she sent a message to President Michael D. Higgins on Tuesday, ahead of St Patrick's Day.  

The monarch, 94, wrote: "On the occasion of your National Day, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Ireland.

 "This year marks ten years since my visit to Ireland, which I remember fondly, and it marks a significant centenary across these islands.

 "We share ties of family, friendship and affection – the foundation of our partnership that remains as important today as ten years ago.

"Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir [Happy St Patrick's Day to you all]. Elizabeth R."

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