William to join Irish Guards for St Patrick's Day


The Duke of Cambridge will visit the Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, west London, where he will present more than 600 soldiers with traditional shamrock during a St Patrick's Day parade.

William, who is the Colonel of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, will greet 450 serving soldiers at the ceremony along with 150 association members and Army Cadets from Northern Ireland.

The parade will mark the first time the full battalion has been able to celebrate St Patrick's Day in five years, due to previous commitments serving on the front line in Afghanistan and Iraq, and more recently in operations in Bosnia, Oman and Kenya.

The Duke will also present a sprig of shamrock to the regiment's mascot, a four-year-old Irish wolfhound named Domhnall, which is Gaelic for "world leader".

The battalion's motto, "Quis Separabit" - or "Who shall separate us?" - is also taken from the knightly Order of St Patrick, founded by George III in 1783.

Formed in April 1900 by Queen Victoria to recognise the services of Irish soldiers during the Second Boer War in South Africa, the regiment has served in major roles in both world wars, and has been awarded six Victoria Crosses over the last century.

Receiving shamrock on St Patrick's Day is a battalion tradition dating back to 1901, when Princess Alexandra became the first member of the royal family to attend the ceremony.

Completing the honours, the Duke will follow in the footsteps of the Queen, the Queen Mother, Prince Edward, Princess Anne, and, in recent years, his wife the Duchess of Cambridge.

Alongside its role serving in British conflicts overseas, the Irish Guards also serve in ceremonial and public duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James's Palace and the Tower of London