Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Back on the Horse for the Irish Guards

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I would imagine the Duke of Cambridge wasn’t particularly looking forward to today, at least not the UK-based portion of it. It’s one things to have all eyes on you and quite another to know those eyes are ever so slightly critical. But even so, William and the Duchess of Cambridge were back to business when they visited the Irish Guards for St. Patrick’s Day and handed out shamrocks. The event, which Kate missed last year to much chagrin, could have turned into an entirely different story, one that included a fair bit of rehashing of last year’s angst; luckily her husband took care of that for her with last weekend’s Verbier trip.

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Obviously today’s big ticket item is the couple’s arrival in Paris later this afternoon, but the visit to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards is a fan favorite, if for no other reason then it’s an annual event which provides a fun photo-op.

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As for what themes have thus far dominated everyone’s attention – the engagement itself, the fact that William is about to show up in Paris for the first official visit since his mother’s death or Verbier – the answer is clearly #skigate. At least so far. It’s entirely likely that will change once the couple touches down in Paris, which is why I think this morning’s engagement will be the most difficult. There’s been some commentary of William looking glum or serious, but I’m not really seeing it – it’s a fairly somber event, and thus he’s not grinning ear to ear in each photo, but I’m not picking up on or hearing of any tension between the Cambridges.

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I’m fairly confident the excitement of Paris and, frankly, seeing what outfits Kate has lined up for the next 36 hours will help move this all along. That and a continued good performance from the couple who are smiling and professional.

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Anyway, Kate debuted a green double-breasted Catherine Walker coat dress and suede Gianvito Rossi heels. The coat is reminiscent of a red Catherine Walker coat dress that she wore to touch down in New Zealand back in 2014, mainly because of its prominent gold buttons. I actually strongly prefer today’s green version where the gold doesn’t appear so jarring and the hat, to me, is less of a nod to a mid-century flight attendant uniform.

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William taking his salute during the parade:

William was appointed Colonel of the Guards back in 2011, the year he and Kate married. Kate began accompanying him on these engagements in 2012, last year being the first time she had missed the event since joining the British Royal Family.

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Kensington Palace also shared a little #fbf on its feed today, including this photo from 1995 which features both the Queen and the Queen Mother:

See you in Paris.

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