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The Princess of Wales' secret gesture after missing St Patrick's Day parade

Princess Kate is Colonel of the Irish Guards


Kate Middleton pink suit© Getty
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
March 21, 2024
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The Princess of Wales made sure the Irish Guards were treated to something special after missing out on the annual St Patrick's Day parade this year. 

The future Queen was unable to raise a toast on the day in her role as Colonel of the Irish Guards, but reportedly left a generous tab behind the bar for them to enjoy a few pints of Guinness. 

Kate Middleton drinks a pint of Guinness© Getty
Princess Kate reportedly left a generous tab for the Irish Guards

According to Daily Mail, Princess Kate put "£2,000 behind the regimental bar at Aldershot for a party after the traditional parade". 

To mark the day, Prince William and Princess Kate also shared a heartfelt greeting along with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Irish Guards' preparations for their annual parade. 

The royal couple took to social media to extend their well-wishes, writing: "Happy St Patrick's Day! Here's a sneak peek of the Irish Guards rehearsing for their annual parade. Sláinte to all those celebrating today!" 

This gesture provided a unique insight into the dedication and precision of the British soldiers as they readied themselves for the festivities. 

MORE: Princess Kate's most memorable St Patrick's Day moments in photos 

This year's St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire marked a significant change as the Princess of Wales was notably absent for the first time in seven years. The Princess has attended the parade nearly every year since she married Prince William in 2011, with some exceptions including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Last year marked Kate's first time attending the St Patrick's Day parade as Colonel of the Irish Guards. The Princess took over the role from her husband, Prince William, who is now Colonel of the Welsh Guards. 

Princess of Wales smiling in teal © Getty
Princess of Wales attends the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2023

Her continued recovery from the recent abdominal surgery necessitated her withdrawal from public duties. She spent 13 days in the private hospital following her surgery on 16 January. 

Timeline of Princess Kate's surgery and health updates

Close-up of Kate Middleton wearing a blazer© Getty
Kate went in for abdominal surgery on 17 January

25 December 2023 – Kate is last seen publicly on Christmas Day

9 January 2024 – Kate celebrates her 42nd birthday, with the King and Queen sharing a behind-the-scenes photo from the coronation to mark the day.

11 January 2024 – William returns to royal duties, meeting rugby heroes Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

17 January 2024 – Kensington Palace announces in a statement that Kate has undergone abdominal surgery at the London Clinic and that William has temporarily stepped back from royal duties to care for Kate and their children.

18 January 2024 – William visits Kate at the London Clinic.

26 January 2024 – King Charles visits Kate in hospital before undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate.

29 January 2024 – Kate is discharged from hospital and returns home to Windsor to continue her recovery. King Charles also leaves the London Clinic on the same day after his treatment.

7 February 2024 – William resumes royal duties attending London's Air Ambulance Charity gala with Tom Cruise.

10 February 2024 – William and Kate spend February half-term with George, Charlotte and Louis at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. Kate's siblings are also pictured on holiday during the school holidays, with James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet flying to the Caribbean with baby Inigo, and Pippa Matthews and her family holidaying on the island of St Barts.

27 February 2024 – Kate said to be "doing well" as William pulls out of King Constantine memorial due to a "personal matter".

29 February 2024 – Kensington Palace addresses social media speculation, reiterating: "We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter."

10 March 2024 - A photograph of Kate with their three children at home in Windsor is released to mark Mother's Day and to thank the public for their "continued support".

11 March 2024 - Kate publicly apologises for the "confusion" around the photograph as she admitted she "occasionally experiments with editing," after news agencies pulled the image amid claims it had been digitally altered. The Princess is then seen in a car with William as she's driven to a private appointment in London. 

19 March 2024 - Footage of William and Kate leaving the Windsor Farm Shop is shared by The Sun and TMZ in the first video sighting of the Princess since surgery.

22 March 2024 - Princess Kate confirms that she has been diagnosed with cancer in a moving video message and is undergoing preventative chemotherapy. 

18 April 2024 - Prince William returns to royal duties after spending Easter holidays privately as a family. 

10 May 2024 - Prince William says Kate is "doing well" as he visits the Isles of Scilly. 

21 May 2024 - Princess Kate is "excited" as Kensington Palace shares update on her early years work with the release of her Business Taskforce's prioritising childhood report.

8 June 2024 - Princess Kate writes letter to Irish Guards to apologise for not being able to take part in the salute at the Colonel's Review.

14 June 2024 - In a personal statement, Kate shares she is making "good progress" and that her "treatment is ongoing and will be for a few more months". 

15 June 2024 - Kate makes her first major public appearance since diagnosis at Trooping the Colour

Details of the Princess' condition have not been revealed but Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related and that Kate wished her personal medical information to remain private.

Kate and William sharing a laugh on St Patrick's Day© Getty
Kate and William sharing a laugh on St Patrick's Day last year

 News of the bar tab comes shortly after footage of Prince William and Kate were spotted leaving the Windsor Farm Shop near to their home, Adelaide Cottage, was shared by The Sun and TMZ

In the clip, Kate, wearing an Umbro hoodie and sports leggings, was seen chatting with her husband, Prince William, and carrying a large white bag as the pair left the store. 

The Princess has only been photographed twice since her surgery, including on the way to a private appointment in London as William travelled to the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

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