The Duchess of Cambridge has carried out her first solo military engagement; dressed in her St. Patrick’s Day green, she handed out sprigs of shamrock to 40 members of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at the annual St.Patrick’s Day parade in Aldershot, Hampshire.
After handing out shamrock sprigs, The Duchess enjoyed lunch with officers at the Barracks, and was toasted by Guardsmen and Lance Corporals in the Junior Ranks Mess Hall (with lager and Irish sherry, according to The Mirror).
“Your Royal Highness. On behalf of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards we welcome you and wish you a Happy St Patrick’s Day,” said one soldier.”We also thank you for the shamrocks that you have presented to us.”
The verdict? “She did brilliantly, she was perfect, and it meant so much to all of the guys to have her here celebrating [St.Patrick's Day] with us,” Drill Sgt Glenn Stevenson told The Telegraph.
A spokesman for the Duchess told media that the origin of the Royal gift of Shamrock dates back to the Regiment’s first St Patrick’s Day in 1901; According to the Mirror, Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, requested the shamrock be passed among the men on parade.
The Duke of Cambridge is an honorary colonel of the regiment as of last year.