Kate delights young girl who gave her flowers at St David’s Day parade

The Princess of Wales delighted a seven-year-old girl who presented flowers to her when she visited the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards for their St David’s Day parade.

Little royal fan Elsi-Haf Cunningham presented Kate with the flowers during the parade at Combermere Barracks in Windsor on Wednesday.

Her mother, Krystal Cunningham, 59, said her daughter will remember the experience for the rest of her life.

She told the PA news agency: “It was a very proud moment. She absolutely loves the royal family but has only ever seen Kate on TV.

“It was a big moment for her, she was a bit nervous but she was very proud to do it.

“The flowers were a bit heavy, that’s why I carried them over initially.”

Kate attended the procession with her husband the Prince of Wales for the first time since he took over from the King as the regiment’s Colonel.

On arrival, the royal couple were greeted by marching bands before William gave a speech to rank and file soldiers where he said the Welsh Guards’ “banter” had helped him get through his own time in the regiment.

He told them: “I am both honoured and delighted to be standing here in front of you today as your new Colonel.

Kate is presented with flowers by a young girl in traditional Welsh costume
Kate is presented with flowers by a young girl in traditional Welsh costume (Alastair Grant/PA)

“At the same time, I’m sorry that my father couldn’t be here with us today to say farewell, but I know he would talk of his fierce pride and admiration for you all, and of his own sadness to be moving on from an appointment he held so dear since 1975.

“While they may not have been my easiest or driest days in the Army, my memories with the Welsh Guards Sniper Platoon Salisbury Plain are some of my best.

“Another key milestone in my life was also shared with the Welsh Guards, this time in the jungles of Belize as I received my A-level results over the Bowman Radio.

“Many of you will know the feeling of being in the jungle; you’re incredibly hot, continuously soaking wet and with nowhere to hide from potentially horrendous results, it could have been a really bad day!

“Ultimately though, it was the camaraderie, the togetherness, and of course the banter of the Welsh Guards that got me through that period, and it’s a time I look back on fondly.”

The Prince of Wales watches the march past
The Prince of Wales watches the march past during the St David’s Day parade (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He finished the speech with the regiment’s motto, Cymru am byth, Welsh for Wales forever.

The couple then took part in the annual tradition of presenting handmade leeks to officers and soldiers to wear on their chests.

Officers and soldiers then distributed them among the ranks.

The parade finished with brass bands playing Welsh anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, followed by God Save The King, before William took the royal salute.

The royal couple later sat for an official photo with the Prince of Wales’s company before they met families from the regiment as well as members of the 5th Royal Australian regiment who are in the UK helping to trai the Ukrainian army.

Nine-year-old Thomas Lucas performed a back flip for Kate as she met families.

Thomas Lucas performed a back flip for Kate
Thomas Lucas performed a back flip for Kate (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He said: “It was actually quite nerve-wracking because I didn’t really land it but she was impressed”.

His father, Sergeant Gareth Lucas, said it was “typical” behaviour for his son who is “non-stop.”

Megan Davis, who travels from Swansea every year to attend the parade, said she was impressed Kate sang the Welsh national anthem in Welsh during the parade.

She said: “I was looking to the right and then she was shaking my hand. She was very sweet.

“I could see her singing the anthem like they have done at the Six Nations rugby.”

Major Gregory Sergeant, from the 5th Royal Australian regiment, said: “William presented me with a leek and just asked me how the trip is going for me.

“It was humbling, I have never met a royal before.

“Our unit’s birthday is on St David’s Day so naturally we reached out to the Welsh Guards and they invited us to the parade today. It was a true honour.”