Hello and hugs to everyone, along with Happy St. Patrick’s Day wishes, albeit a different sort of observance as there is no shamrock ceremony this year to cover, but primarily because of the crushing concerns about the health of so many readers and their loved ones. As many of us confront significant changes to our daily routines, things are very quiet on Planet Kate, and rightly so. There is news today about HM’s schedule; she is currently at Buckingham Palace, but there are changes ahead. Below, a portion of a statement released today by Buckingham Palace.
As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary.
Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday 19th March, one week earlier than planned. It is likely The Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period.
There are several event cancellations or postponements, including the following:
- the annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel on April 9th
- three Garden Parties hosted by The Queen, due to be held at Buckingham Palace in May (guests will be asked to attend parties in 2021)
- Garden Parties for the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust will also not take place
- Investitures will be rearranged to later dates
The statement also notes that decisions on Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan will be made “in due course.” The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s tour to Bosnia, Herzegovina, Cyprus, and Jordan has also been postponed.
My guess is we will see very little of the Cambridge family in the near future. I would not expect the Australia visit to happen, at least not in the foreseeable future. Nor would I think we’ll see them on Easter Sunday as we have the past several years. Royal family members tend to attract crowds, and that is the last thing anyone wants to create right now. Clearly, it’s a fluid situation, and things are changing rapidly throughout many regions of the world.
What does it mean for our WKW community? It is a difficult situation. Many are anxious, adapting to different schedules, lifestyles, and stressors. I think it’s a time when fashion and style can provide a distraction. So, for the time being, I plan to continue posting unless it becomes inappropriate. Yesterday I asked on Facebook what sort of things people would like to see on the page. Responses include vintage Kate pictures and posts, more polls, repliKates people have discovered, and lots of other great suggestions. Fortunately (I think!), I didn’t get to the year-end polls until ten days or two weeks ago when I started compiling them, so there is fodder for a few posts. If there are things you would like to see, let me know in a comment or via an email.
Okay, we’ll move to today’s “originally scheduled content.” There is no St. Patrick’s Day parade this year because the Irish Guards are deployed in Iraq and South Sudan. So I thought it would be fun to look back at the Duchess’s previous outfits and get your input on which is your favorite. First, some very quick background on the Irish Guards.
The Guards was founded by Queen Victoria in 1900 “in recognition of the many courageous acts of Irish soldiers” during the Second Boer War. Its motto, ‘Quis Separabit’ or ‘Who shall separate us?’ comes from the Order of St Patrick, an order of chivalry founded by George III.
In 1900 Queen Victoria decreed that the Guards would wear shamrocks to mark the day:
“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.”
Before the Duchess gives out the shamrocks she receives her own.
It isn’t just humans who receive shamrocks, the Irish Wolfhound that is the mascot for the regiment also receives them.
Above, you see the Irish Wolfhound Domhnall of Shantamon in 2014 in his red dress uniform, along with his handler, David Steed. The first year Kate took part in the ceremony, the mascot was Conmael, but he retired. Domhnall’s first shamrock ceremony was in 2013; he was the Guards’ 16th regimental mascot.
His handler in 2017 was 29-year-old drummer Adrian Cathcart, from Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
His name means ‘World Leader’ in Gaelic.
UPDATE March 18: It turns out Domhnall retired in September! I don’t know that a new mascot has been named; I haven’t been able to find any information about a successor for Domhnall. Here is a video about his times with the Guards and his retirement ceremony.
(I always figure you can’t go wrong writing about Kate and dogs!)
There is always a group photo at the event. This one is from 2015.
And this one from last year.
A visit to the barracks follows the ceremony.
Below, a 2017 photo.
Now for our review of the outfits, the Duchess chose for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations over the years. For her first official St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Ceremony in 2012, Kate wore a design from Emilia Wickstead’s a/w 2010 collection.
She accented the fit and flare design with chocolate brown heels by Emmy London, a belt, the ‘Betty Boop’ hat by Lock and Company, and the shamrock brooch owned by the Irish Guards and loaned to royal women taking part in ceremonial duties. It has previously been worn by the Queen Mother and Princess Anne. We’ll see the brooch several times in the post; here is a closer look at the piece.
When expecting Prince George at 2013’s ceremony, the Duchess brought back her Emilia Wickstead look from the previous year.
The garment had been altered, and Kate wore a turtleneck underneath it. Her hat was also a repeat, John Lock’s ‘Fairy Tale’ style, first worn when visiting Leicester in March 2012. Her shoes had been seen previously, the Episode ‘Angel’ heels, as well as the emerald and diamond earrings and her Cornelia James Imogen gloves.
It was the first of several times we saw the ‘Persephone’ coat, a double-breasted style with classic trench details like epaulets and storm flaps. The Duchess repeated a Gina Foster hat seen on Christmas Day 2013, the ‘Maribel’ style, Emmy London’s Valerie pumps, and ‘Natasha’ clutch (both in the carbon grey colorway), and Kiki McDonough’s green amethyst earrings.
The only time Kate didn’t wear green was the 2015 Shamrock Ceremony.
The Duchess, expecting Princess Charlotte, opted for a chestnut brown Catherine Walker coat with princess seams and box pleats. She accessorized with a repeat of the ‘Betty Boop’ hat by Lock & Co., Emmy London’s ‘Valerie’ pumps in chocolate brown, her Natasha clutch, the ‘Imogen’ gloves by Cornelia James, and her Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings.
Kate did not attend the 2016 ceremony. She chose another Catherine Walker coat for St. Patrick’s Day 2017.
The double-breasted design showcased velvet trim at the collar, cuffs, and slanted pockets, as well as shiny gold buttons. The Duchess appeared to be wearing the ‘Rebecca’ heels by Emmy London, a Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. hat that was previously seen on Christmas Day 2015, the Siren earrings (on sale for $140 instead of $175) by Monica Vinader (where everything is currently 20% off with promo code WITHLOVE20), and she carried a handbag by Etui.
The piece has an off-center front closure, princess seams, and attached faux fur collar and cuffs. Kate also had on Gina Foster’s Meribel Felt Beret Hat with Bow, her oft-worn Tod’s suede pumps, her Cornelia James Alice gloves, and Kiki McDonough earrings initially seen on the 2016 India tour. The special edition green tourmalines, green amethysts, and diamond earrings are said to have been a gift celebrating Princess Charlotte’s birth.
The look showcased military references like a high collar and metal buttons. Interestingly, the Duchess’s buttons had a Celtic theme (below left) as opposed to the style that came on the original jacket (r).
She accessorized with a hat by an unknown milliner, her Jenny Packham ‘Roxy’ clutch, Gianvito Rossi ‘Piper 85’ suede pumps, Kiki McDonough earrings, gloves by Cornelia James, and the shamrock brooch.
I thought it would also be fun to vote on Kate’s St. Patrick’s Day hats. Here is a quick refresher (from left to right): in 2012 we saw the ‘Betty Boop’ style from Lock & Company; in 2013, the Fairy Tale’ hat, also by Lock & Co.; in 2014 the Duchess wore Gina Foster’s Meribel hat with its perky bow; for 2015’s ceremony we saw the return of the Betty Boop.
In 2017 Kate sported a Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. hat; 2018 brought the return of the Gina Foster Meribel style; last year, we saw the UFO piece by an unknown designer. Now it’s time to vote.
We’ll see you before the end of the week. Until then, may all needing a touch of that Irish luck have it on this St. Patrick’s Day.
Here’s a video with members of the Irish Guards talking about St. Patrick’s Day memories.