Mar 172013

William and Kate marked a cold, rainy, blustery St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards today.

James Whatling / Splash News

It was the annual ceremony distributing shamrocks to the Irish Guards, many Kate fashion followers will recognize the Emilia Wickstead worn last year on St. Patrick’s Day.

The traditional ceremony was at Mons Barracks, Aldershot. For those unfamiliar with the Regiment, we share some background from the Ministry of Defence:

The regiment takes its motto, ‘Quis Separabit’ or ‘Who shall separate us?’ from the Order of St Patrick, an order of chivalry founded by George III.

As a Foot Guards Regiment the Irish Guards Regiment is involved in public and ceremonial duties at Buckingham Place, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace and The Tower of London.

Readers may remember that Prince William is a Colonel of the Guards, it was the unit’s deep red uniform he wore on his wedding day. In this photo tweeted by the Aldershot News you see he wore the black No 1 uniform today, with thanks to Richard Palmer of the Express for sharing the actual name for that uniform style.

Aldershot News Twitter Feed

The Prince had a new insignia on that uniform, one marking an honor bestowed by the Queen: HM has made him an official Aide-de-Camp. More from the Telegraph:

The position has few duties but will be seen as symbolic of William’s growing role within the Royal Family.

The Court Circular stated that the Queen “has been pleased to appoint The Duke of Cambridge as a personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty” with effect from today.

Band of the Irish Guards Facebook Page

The distribution of shamrocks by a senior female member of the Royal Family began with a decree made in 1900:

“Her Majesty, the Queen, is pleased to order that in future, upon St Patrick’s Day, all ranks of her Irish regiments shall wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa.”

You can see how dark and dreary it was in this photo by The Mirror’s Victoria Murphy.

Victoria Murphy, The Mirror Twitter Feed (@QueenVicMirror)

Some may recall that the Regiment’s Mascot, Conmael, received his own shamrocks from Kate last year. Conmael is now retired and there is a new Mascot, his name is Domhnall (pronounced Donal). This year Domnhall received his first official shamrocks, the Duchess pinned them to his collar.

Domhnall, Regimental Mascot 1st Battalion Irish Guards Facebook Page

Below you see Domhnall in his red dress uniform with his handler, David Steed.

Victoria Murphy, The Mirror (@QueenVicMirror)

In an earlier post we talked about the new Mascot, he is still just a puppy, today was his first official appearance.  David Steed has been training Domhnall for months, here you can see how easy it is for him to get a snack, his head is just about (or above!) table height.

Domhnall Facebook Page

Kate’s Emilia Wickstead coat (first seen last year on St. Patrick’s Day) has a fit and flare silhouette. This year the Duchess dispensed with the belt for obvious reasons, but the piece still worked. It was part of the designer’s Fall 2010 collection. Kate added a black piece underneath the Wickstead today, some think it is the turtleneck (called a polo neck in England) worn underneath her Luisa Spagnoli dress when at Saint Andrews, or the black dress worn when visiting Liverpool last February.

PA Wire/Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed (@QueenVicMirror)

At this point I haven’t seen enough photos to decide if it is either, or an entirely different piece.

Kate accessorized with pieces we have seen before, she brought back the John Lock ‘Fairy Tale’ hat first worn when she visited Leicester last March with HM and Prince Phillip.

James Goley Twitter Feed/Lock & Co.

She also repeated her Episode ‘Angel’ heels (the style we show is leather, not the suede Kate wears) and her Cornelia James Black Wool Glove with Side Bow.

Episode ‘Angel’ Shoe & Cornelia James Short Wool Glove with Bow

Kate sported an elaborate updo, in this picture you can also see she wore the emerald and diamond earrings we first saw at the Natural History Museum engagement in November.

James Whatling/Splash News

And she had on the gold shamrock pin traditionally worn for the day’s ceremonies, the brooch is actually owned by the regiment and loaned to those using it for events such as today’s. Previously it was worn by the late Queen Mother, as well as Princess Anne.

Things went very well despite the nasty weather, although Kate experienced one minor kerfluffle, something all of us have dealt with at one point or another: the dreaded heel-in-the-grate syndrome.

James Whatling / Splash News

Kate handled it with aplomb.

This was a very nice look for Kate, the coat worked as well with black accessories as it did with last year’s brown hat and heels.

PA Wire/Splash News

In speaking with members of the Regiment Kate did share updates on the baby. Here is more via Victoria Murphy’s Twitter feed.

Victoria Murphy, The Mirror Twitter Feed (@QueenVicMurphy)

We leave you today with a photo that was just too cute to ignore. Kate made her first visit to the Guards with William back in June of 2011, she was wearing a McQueen fitted coat dress with a military influence. As part of a sewing challenge more than a year after that visit a repliKate was made for a young lady by her mother.

Splash News/Froo & Boo Blog

We’ll see you back here on Tuesday, when William and Kate visit the offices of Child Bereavement UK.


  51 Responses to “William & Kate Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards”

  1. Here’s something kind of fun! Long before Kate Middleton and Emilia Wickstead, there was Jane Wyman starring in Torchy Blane Playing with Dynamite (Warner Brothers, 1939). I just happened to catch this film on TV recently, and the outfit Jane wears is the same one Kate wore for St. Patrick’s Day; it’s nearly an exact match for last year’s outfit with the belt, nude nylons and hat. (However, Jane is wearing a tan coat instead of a green one). Here is the link so you can see a still photograph from the film. Sorry I could not get a still shot of the entire outfit.,r:21,s:0,i:156&iact=rc&dur=3949&page=2&tbnh=185&tbnw=258&start=9&ndsp=16&tx=148&ty=121

  2. Why shouldn’t Kate wear her green coat again? And why wouldn’t she wear black shoes and hose? The black turtleneck (polo neck) was in honor of the cool weather, I assure you, not a fashion choice.
    Britain, like America, is in a deep recession. I would be appalled if Kate chose to be a clothes horse at the taxpayers’ expense! And why moan around about this coat and tailoring? Today’s young mothers, like Victoria Beckham, shamelessly wear tight, revealing knit dresses to the most formal occasions. They look grotesque. I do NOT understand the current craze for exposing oneself in the worst-looking condition a woman can be in. Yes, it’s glorious condition, but do we all have to see it? Give us the old days of concealing maternity clothes!
    And William was too well-bred to bend down to help this athletic girl with her shoe. She’s a graceful lady and he didn’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill. They both have impeccable manners and dignity when those things are required!

    • I am so glad you posted your thoughts here, as I agree with all of them. I think it is silly to complain that she wore this coat again to the same event—and the addition of black accessories and updo keep it fresh and prevent it from being the exact same outfit. My husband would have done the same thing if I got my heel caught—quickly steadied me while I dealt with it myself. I also doubt that she actually re-tailored this dress—I think it is a wraparound fit (like a robe) and she simply adjusted the way it wraps, and then put the polo neck under it to deal with the cold.

  3. You know it’s funny, lately I have been thinking jeez she hardly even looks pregnant, but seeing pictures side by side of her wearing the St. Patrick’s coat from pre-pregnancy and now, makes it much clearer. Especially with the neckline hitting so much lower and more open, making the turtleneck necessary for modesty.
    I loved the chocolate accessories so I can’t say as I’m a huge fan of the black, but I understand the reason behind needing to change things up. I don’t think its a big deal that she wore the same coat but it would have been strange if she wore an identical ensemble. (Which is a shame since I love the chocolate betty boop hat!)

  4. Well, given the various opinions about Kate’s outfit, we can all agree that it is a challenge to dress the royal body in maternity wear. She’s figuring it out, and she is not yet at the point in her pregnancy where she has to overhaul her entire wardrobe. I will defend Kate here. I agree with previous posters who believe that she has made smart choices to adapt her garments to her continuously changing shape.

  5. She looks lovely as always. I personally don’t mind that she wore the same coat to the same event. It’s the perfect coat for St. Patrick’s Day. Also, “recycling” a coat is not like wearing the same dress over again to the same event (which would have been strange, if Kate had done that). But wearing the same coat? I don’t see how that is even an issue.

    I do prefer the coat with chocolate accessories, but I completely understand why she switched that up. It would have been much too similar. I would have liked to see it with perhaps some navy accessories. I think that might have looked better than black.

    In terms of hair, I love when Kate wears her hair in an updo, but this one was really big. The huge bun in the back looked like a little too much. A smaller, neater bun would have done the trick!

  6. First of all, love this blog!
    i totally dont care for this look at all. Of course she still looks nice, but im not understanding what shes trying to pull with the tailoring of old clothes. I agree with another poster that its probably cheaper to invest in one or 2 maternity coats then to tailor old ones and have to take them back in if she plans on wearing them after the baby. Tailoring is expensive! (if her point is to show that shes frugal)
    I also much prefer the overall look last year ang the brown accessories. I think the hat looks much better with her hair down when she wore it last year. I also think this updo is a big mess if you ask me. But i generally much prefer her hair down then matronly updos.I really dont care for the turtleneck either. I think i was more dissapointed with the coat because i had last years look to compare it to.
    i was so excited for Kates recent events but honestly i was hoping for some new clothes!
    I love how she laughed and grabbed onto her husband when her heel got stuck, seems like shes super easygoing :)
    And at the end of the day, she looks like she’s feeling better and thats most important ;)

  7. Just wanted to say that I’m an avid follower of your blog. I love following the style choices of Kate Middleton, and this site is so comprehensive and up-to-date. Also, I wrote a Kate-inspired outfit blog post and referenced you! Thought you should know :)


  8. She looks lovely. I preferred the look last year, but it’s still a very smart looking coat/outfit. I wonder if she will wear the yellow Emilia Wickstead coat again–the waist is slightly elevated and would seemingly do well as a maternity piece.

  9. I LOVE this coat – one of my favourites. She looks gorgeous in both styles. I also really like the hat with this hairdo – she wears it better than the model!

  10. i really love her hat here–she wears it better than the model! and it’s wonderful that she smiled through her heel getting stuck. she’s so graceful under such a heavy spotlight.

  11. I for one am loving the updo! Such a nice change.

    I also love this coat. However, I am not crazy over the tailoring of it. I would hate to turn such a beautiful coat into a maternity piece.

    Does anyone know if she can have it put to rights after the baby?

    Also, I’m super impressed Kate has not gotten her heel stuck before. England is the worst country to wear heels in. On a school trip to England, all of us girls where getting our heels stuck in all sorts of stuff. Quite a few pairs had to be pitched because of damage.

  12. I love and adore Kate’s outfit! Her hair is gorgeous and hat elegant and the coat is sensational she is a perfect ten! William looks handsome as well.

  13. I really like this John Lock hat and glad to see another outing for it. I do not like the combination of the low turtleneck/polo neck with such an open neckline–for some reason it reminds me of those Edwardian outfits ladies wore with the high necklines with jackets over them–and for that reason seems granny-ish to me. a sccop or even crew neck would have given Kate a prettier neckline, especially with the updo but it looked like a cold, wet day so the higher neck probably helped keep Kate warm. I think even with the alterations this coat dress was a bit of a stretch for being maternity wear as you can see how the hem at the front comes up because of the bump. You’re approaching your last trimester Kate–time for some real maternity wear!

  14. I am ALL about being frugal, but there is nothing wrong with investing in maternity wear if not just larger sizes (especially if you plan on being pregnant more than once). I definitely like the brown better than the black, if you must wear it two years in a row to the same event (don’t get me wrong – I’m Irish and love my green). As for the hair, meh – not my favorite but an updo is a nice change from her usual do.

  15. Is the hat black or dark blue? Well, if the hat is dark blue, it is not matching with the black top nor the tights at all. I hope pregnancy hasn’t made her unable to match colors. I agree with another post above that she could’ve worn something different. She knows the whole world is watching her and yet she couldn’t get an new outfit for this year’s Irish Guards visit, absurd. If she’s worried about people judging her for buying clothes that’s very expensive, then a trip to Debenhams or House of Fraser wouldv’e been cost effective enough to buy and wear a new outfit.

  16. I think this coat works pretty well as a maternity outfit, although the darts fit her better last year. I don’t have a problem with her wearing it to this event two years in a row. The color is great and with the shamrocks it’s a nice combo. Not really into the hat or the other black accessories. I really like last year’s hat and am glad she’s been wearing it numerous times lately.

    • Agree with you about the darts. The expanded neckline looks wrong with this coat, it spoils the lie of the fabric especially with the extra thickness of the top this time round.

      Without a garment tailored to suit her present condition she looks ever more matronly. Nothing wrong with that, but I’d prefer see clothes made to accommodate the difference rather than simply making the whole outfit look awkward.

  17. I don’t mind that she recycled the coat, but I definitely preferred last year’s look. The updo looks bulky and undone, and I prefer the chocolate brown accessories as opposed to the black. She looks older and dowdier.

    • Agree Susan. Last year with the belt and chocolate accessories (LOVED that hat) she looked gorgeous – total1940s post war glam.
      The black hat and shoes are ok but Im not loving the turtle neck and lack of belt…the updo is lovely though!

    • Yeah, side by side I have to vote for last year’s version. And I was surprised that she wore the exact coat for the exact event again…This is nothing good or bad; but I was really surprised. :)

  18. Awwww … what a pumpkin! She looks great even when her heel’s stuck.

  19. I am so disappointed… Honestly, she could do better. I think that wearing the same coat for the same occasion after just one year is nothing but big fax pas…

    • Not at all. Most people wear clothes more than once, and she is pregnant: it doesn’t make any sense to buy a whole wardrobe of clothes that will be worn only for a few months. She’s being smart.

      A “faux pas” is an error or violation of manners. Nothing about rewearing a dress, with different accessories and a different hairstyle, is bad manners.

      ElizaMo, I like the slightly messy look of the hairstyle; it’s relaxed and charming.

      • Forgive me, but smart isn’t the word that springs to my mind for trying to fit a fit-and-flare coat over a five-month baby bump. Combined with the resulting gaping neckline, drooping hemline and downwardly mobile updo, I’m afraid the overall effect I’m getting is bordering on scruffy.

        And given the hours of spit and rub soldiers put into polishing up their uniforms, I’m inclined to think that makes the Duchess look out of sync with this occasion.

  20. Oh dear, looks like this is the second outfit in a row I find myself out of sympathy with. I don’t like all the dull black accessories with a coat in an already sombre tone, and the Duchess’s updo looks like it might be on the way down any moment.

    The hairstyle certainly makes for an odd profile with a hat tilted so far forward and adds to a general sense of a makeshift ensemble. Her fuller face too looks odd to me with the hat and updo combination

    And repeating the same coat to the same event speaks not so much of “thrifty” as “couldn’t be bothered.” I find it hard to believe HRH couldn’t avail herself of some proper maternity wear rather than, dare I say, trying to stretch a royal point.

    • “And repeating the same coat to the same event speaks not so much of “thrifty” as “couldn’t be bothered.” I find it hard to believe HRH couldn’t avail herself of some proper maternity wear rather than, dare I say, trying to stretch a royal point.”

      There was something about today’s outfit that I just didn’t like, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think you hit the nail on the head with why I didn’t like that she repeated almost the same outfit. She could have worn any other color coat and included a pretty green embellishment elsewhere (a different colored turtleneck, for instance, or green jewelry). I’m all for recycling, but rewearing the same outfit to the same event is weird to me.

      If she had really wanted to convey that she was thrifty, she could have bought one maternity coat and just reworn it at every occasion instead of alteringher existing collection.

      • And then people would have complained that she wore the same coat over and over again. She likes to wear different coats, and I’m sure we’ll see some maternity examples in the next months. However, for a St. Patrick’s Day when she happened to be pregnant, she obviously wanted something green, she already had a coatdress in green that could be altered, and someone like Emilia Wickstead can probably return the coat to its previous lines. Why buy something new?

        No, I still think this was a smart and practical decision.

        • I think we will have to agree to disagree.

          I don’t think it’s any more practical (or cheaper) to alter a few coats instead of just purchasing one maternity coat and rewearing it.

          I also think her outfit yesterday seemed off and didn’t seem to have the usual pizzazz.

          • I follow 2 blogs that dedicate to Kate’s wardrobe. The more I look at these pictures from this year, the more I feel what you are saying …Somehow she looked a bit off, not very prepared in a way…the hair, ahd hat, and the coat just don’t work out as well as last year…I wonder if that Reiss coat (I believe it was a greenish gray, or the other way around???) would have worked out better…

      • It’s the coat I feel sorry for — it was such a beautiful garment when first worn, and if it were to be altered and re-altered it could end up being more of a regal waste of a fine piece than a genuine saving.

        Face it — she needs a dresser, someone to take care of the details!

        • This is something I (and a few other posters) have been wondering. Does altering – and then realtering – a coat or any other clothing over and over eventually ruin the fabric’s integrity? I can’t imagine it would be a good idea to keep adjusting the fabric.

          • I think I’m with you on this one — to keep altering a garment is hardly going to improve it, especially when the tailoring marks are left visible as on the previous pink coat. It would be nice to see a dresser employed to leave the Duchess free to do the things she enjoys.

  21. Maybe it’s just me but did it look like her hair had come undone a bit? I love the green coat dress, and the look overall but I definitely thought her hair looked a bit off

  22. Gold stars (or should I say shamrocks?) all around! This look is the Duchess at her best. The Emilia Wickstead has been adapted to fit her bump much more competently than the Katherine Hooker. I love the polo neck with this coat, too. I do wish she would have saved her new citrines for today though. I think that they would have really complimented the green of the coat and the gold shamrock brooch. Also, they would have stood out with her hair up.

    Actually, this updo is my favorite of all! I am very partial to side updos, which I think this one is. If anyone stumbles upon an instructional site for how to replicate it, please post!

  23. I loved that Wickstead coatdress the first time I saw it and am happy to see it again, with that delicious little hat. Amazing how well the dress accommodates the growing baby bump, though of course she’s obviously had some work done on it.

    This is a coatdress, not a coat, so I doubt she’s wearing an entire dress underneath it. My guess is that she simply has on the black polonecked sweater worn with the Spagnoli suit.

    It was clever for her to wear her hair up in an unusual chignon. Interesting hairstyles and hats are a great way to distract the eye from one’s midsection.

    Can that young lady’s mother make ME that repliKate dress? I’ve been looking for a navy coatdress like it (I had one once and wore it into the ground), but alas, I haven’t been able to find one.

  24. Just wondering why William did not bend down and help his duchess with her heel. That woudl have been a gentleman thing to do. But they both looked wonderful today. Being pregnant sure is agreeing with the Duchess. She is just glowing.
    She is such a stunning & beautiful woman.

    • William steadies her while she did it herself. I think that is a much safer option than him attempting to yank the heel out and toppling his pregnant wife!

    • I watched the video; the whole episode lasted only 3-5 seconds. She dealt with it very quickly with her usual grace, good humour, dignity and aplomb – without any fuss or drama!
      The officers were in “formation standing at attention”, so they could not move. – If they have rushed to help her and try to lift her foot, she may have fallen or broken the shoe. I think William was right to just keep firm hold of her hand and let her free herself – That’s all it required (and what she wanted too)!
      ……I know, it would have been so lovely to see him acting as “prince charming” on one knee putting her shoe back!! (but he would have been criticised for that too!)

  25. From looking at the photos of Kate from last February when she wore the black turtleneck dress to Leichester, I can’t believe it’s the same dress. She was far too thin in that dress to be able to wear it now nearly 6 months pregnant.

  26. ……..and this just shows us why the length matters, especially when pregnant! Imagine trying to unstick a heel in yesterday’s short coat. Love the look and love the hair……good job!

  27. From the pictures on People’s site, which show a clear front shot (,,20395222_20682932,00.html) it is evident that Kate also adjusted the waistband of this coat-dress, with the lapels now meeting near her waist, rather than crossing higher on her chest as worn last March (shown in your side-by-side above). A more successful adjustment than the salmon-colored coat in my opinion and a very flattering color on Kate.

    Frequent reader, first time commenting – thanks for your thorough reports!

  28. Kate looks great!

  29. I’m amazed by what can be done with a little taloring. I’m really learning a lot!

    • Agreed! I don’t sew, so maybe someone can help me out – when you make these adjustments, can you readjust them again? I can see Kate wanting to keep these coats after she’s done having kids. Can you take in/take out over and and over with the same piece?

      • if you can let fabric out, you can definitely let it back in. However the hard part is always to let out more than the fabric and design would allow…not sure if this makes sense. :)

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