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IRISH CHARM: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved drizzly March skies to attend a St Patrick’s Day parade at Mons Barracks in Hampshire. Wearing the green Emilia Wickstead coat that she wore to the same event last year, the five-months-pregnant Duchess suffered a minor embarrassment as the heel of her shoe became lodged in a drain.
The Royal couple laughed as Kate removed the offending heel, before they watched the Irish Guards parade. The Duke was attending the event as Colonel of the Regiment and for the first time wore the insignia of aide de camp to the Queen on his shoulder, which was bestowed on him today.
The Duchess, who completed her look with a neat felt hat, black tights and shoes, and a shamrock brooch, bestowed sprigs of shamrocks on the officers and guardsmen of the regiment, a century-old tradition, started by Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII, in 1901, in which a senior female member of the royal family presents the sprigs. She also presented a sprig to the regiment’s new mascot, a seven month-old Irish wolfhound, who was wearing a red cape that matched the dress uniforms of the soldiers around him.
While chatting to Guardsman Lee Wheeler after the ceremony, the Duchess said, “I’d like to have a boy and William would like a girl.” She also confirmed that she is as yet unaware of the gender of the baby, and said that they don’t have any names in mind.