Princess of Wales takes first salute as new Colonel of the Irish Guards
The Princess of Wales took her first Royal salute as the new Colonel of the Irish Guards at their St Patrick's Day parade on Friday.
She began her celebrations of the Irish holiday by visiting Mons Barracks in Aldershot alongside the Prince of Wales, where they marked an informal handover to her as the new Colonel.
Kate presented traditional sprigs of shamrock to the officers and guardsmen, as well as to the regimental mascot, a two-year-old Irish wolfound called Turlough Mór, also known as Séamus.
In his final speech to the guardsmen, Willaim said he was "incredibly sad" that his time as their Colonel had come to an end, but said his wife would be a "committed" and "incredibly loyal" replacement.
"It has been one of the great honours of my life to hold that title; I’m proud of everything it stands for – just as I’m immensely proud of every single one of you," he said.
The Prince reminisced about his visits to the guardsmen, saying: "From exercises and range days here in the UK, to training overseas – such as Kenya in 2018 – I have such vivid memories of witnessing what you do so brilliantly in the field."
He described their work in Africa as "inspirational", and thanked all the families who had joined to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade in Aldershot.
"I hope you know how truly grateful I am to all of you too," he said
"On this, my 13th and final St Patrick’s Day as Colonel, not only am I saddened that I’ll likely fail once again to finish a pint of Guinness… but I am also sad that I won’t in future see more of you, the families, whose unwavering support enables these outstanding men and women to do what they do."
William added: "I may be stepping aside, but in Colonel Catherine you have a committed, focused, and already incredibly loyal 11th Colonel.
"As you serve together over the years ahead, know that I will continue to watch you, with huge pride in having been one of you."
The Prince finished his speech by paying tribute to Major General Sir Sebastian Roberts, William's predecessor as Colonel, who died last week.
"Loved by generations of Irish Guardsmen and many, many others, he was, quite simply, a phenomenon," he said.
The Princess then delivered her own speech to the Irish Guards, saying she "couldn't be prouder" to be their Colonel.
"I am here to listen to you, to support you, and to champion you in all you do – this is a responsibility I do not take lightly," she said.
She praised their hard work and "glorious sense of humour", saying that it "makes you who you are and what makes the Irish Guards unique".
"I look forward to spending more time with you and your families, seeing your commitment to duty and service in all you do," she said.
Kate also took the opportunity to thank her husband for his support, saying: "Before I close, however, I want to thank Colonel William. He has always talked about his fierce pride for this regiment. I know he will continue to support us all in the work we do."
The parade concluded with a Royal salute and march past, where Kate took the salute as the new Colonel.
Earlier this month, Kate made her first visit to the soldiers’ training area on the Salisbury Plain.
In freezing conditions, she toured the Battalion and took part in a casualty simulation, where she learned how to provide basic first aid to a wounded soldier.