Ok, another year, another St. Patrick’s Day for the Cambridges! First off, there was speculation from some, including myself, that this would be the Duchess’s last engagement before maternity leave, however Kensington Palace announced two new engagements for her on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Either Kate is working closer to her due date than she has in the past, or this baby isn’t expected until close to the end of April (supporting recent guesses that she’s due right around St. George’s Day on the 23rd).
Either way, today isn’t goodbye, so let’s turn to the Irish Guards. Regular royal watchers are likely familiar with this engagement – it’s one that Kate has been carrying out with William almost every March since they were married. Indeed, she’s attended it six times now, three of which she’s been pregnant. Two years ago there was a kerfuffle when Kate declined to attend with William (the Irish Guards is technically his patronage, not hers) citing that she wanted to spend time with her children ahead of the India and Bhutan tour, and then last year it the couple’s first engagement after #skigate. Some noted that the two seemed a bit awkward, but mainly we were all more excited about the fact they were due to kick off Paris in a couple hours.
So, today is a much calmer day all around and we can focus on what’s important, like what green coat Kate chose, the adorable Irish wolfhound and a Guinness-filled cheers. William is the Colonel of the Irish Guards and this annual engagement takes him and Kate to their base in west London. The couple watches the soldiers arrive on Parade Square, at which point they hand out shamrocks in honor of the holiday.
My favorite moment is when Kate fastens a shamrock to the Guards’ Irish wolfhound, which is at least consistent of me seeing as Lupo remains my favorite Cambridge. (More Lupo, please. Preferably on the balcony.)
A toast is offered up at the end – for the second year in a row, this honor has been carried out by Stephen Williams, the longest-serving guardsman – from the mess hall. Usually the couple each enjoys a Guinness as they work the room, however this year, for obvious reasons, Kate opted for sparkling water.
As you can tell from some of the photos, it was a cold – and occasionally snowy – day in London today. You can it more clearly from the rooftops and white-grey skies in the background of photos such as the below:
Kate opted for a coat that proved itself in similarly arctic temperatures – her green Catherine Walker that she debuted in Stockholm a few weeks ago. Frankly, I was just happy it wasn’t the Dolce & Gabbana from Sunderland! Anyway, this particular coat was a hit when she wore it and she has accessorized it both times with a black faux-fur collar and cuffs from Troy London. In Stockholm, she wore her hair down and paired it with a hat, however today she opted for a chignon and a fascinator from Gina Foster Meribel.
I won’t get too much into the history of this particular engagement, since we covered it more extensively in previous posts (linked above), but it’s an event that is very much associated with royal women, particularly in the last 100+ years. Most recently, it was a tradition carried out dutifully by the Queen Mother and thus it is still closely associated with her. My guess is that 2016, for whatever reason, was meant to make the point that Kate won’t necessarily appear each and every year, but it’s one with a fair bit of symbolism and is, quite simply, a nice, fun tradition.
So, another year down and fingers crossed we’re reconvening here in 2019. In the meantime, happy St. Patrick’s Day!