The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated St Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards, but it was an officer’s young daughter who stole the show with her antics.
Kate was fittingly dressed in an emerald green outfit for the couple’s visit to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot in Hampshire.
William is Colonel of the Irish Guards and the event was the first time the Cambridges have been able to celebrate the annual event with the officers and soldiers from the regiment since the pandemic began.
Daughter of Commanding Officer Robert Money, 20-month-old Gaia Money, gives the Duchess of Cambridge a posy during the St Patrick’s Day event (Andrew Matthews/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Andrew Matthews
During the ceremony, 20-month-old Gaia Money grabbed two bouquets from the duchess and a smiling Kate said: “Shall we swap. Now you have both of them.”
When Gaia’s father, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money, placed his bearskin hat over his daughter’s head, Kate said: “That’s so sweet. Do you fit inside it.”
The toddler’s mother Lorraine Money said afterwards: “The duchess was lovely. Gaia took both bouquets and she let her keep them. Gaia has been practising her curtsey at nursery school but failed!
“I am from Jamaica and we spoke about Jamaica, as they are going there next week.”
The duchess, wearing a green coat by Laura Green and hat by Lock & Co, pinned a sprig of shamrock on the Irish Guards mascot – a two-year-old Irish Wolfhound.
The Duchess of Cambridge with Irish Guards mascot Turlough Mor, a two-year-old Irish Wolfhound (Andrew Matthews/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Andrew Matthews
The dog, called Turlough Mor, also known as Seamus, and handler Drummer Adam Walsh, stood to attention on the parade ground.
Kate wore shamrock on her jacket and William, dressed in a military coat, had a sprig on his cap for the couple’s visit.
The duchess handed baskets filled with shamrock sprigs to regimental leaders to hand out to the ranks and she chatted and smiled as she presented officers with the plant – a symbol of Ireland.
She told them: “Good morning, have some shamrock. Happy St Patrick’s Day.”
The Cambridges begin a tour of the Caribbean on Saturday which will see them visit Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The royal couple speak to a young guest (Chris Jackson/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Chris Jackson
After the visit Gaia’s grandmother Mary Money said: “They both said about how much they are looking forward to Jamaica and Gaia is half Jamaican.
“They expressed regret as they had been unable to see the regiment for many years because of serving in Iraq and South Sudan and Covid last year. So it was a great reunion.”
Drummer Adam Walsh, handler of mascot Seamus, said about speaking to the duchess: “She said ‘I hope I put the shamrock on right this time and I helped her and we carried on.
“I was very excited as this was the first time in three years we have seen them.
“Seamus behaved himself. I was afraid he was going to let us down (but) I was more nervous than he was. He was fantastic.”