Princess Kate replaced at major event as Royal Family absence confirmed

Princess Kate replaced at major event as Royal Family absence confirmed

Watch: GB News viewers send in their messages of support for Princess Kate

GB News
Cameron Walker

By Cameron Walker

Published: 13/03/2024

- 17:28

Updated: 14/03/2024

- 08:50

The Princess of Wales would usually attend St. Patrick's Day parade as Colonel of the Irish Guards

The British Army has been forced to replace the Princess of Wales in a major event, for a role normally carried out by a member of the Royal Family.

As Colonel of the Irish Guards, Catherine would usually attend the St Patrick's Day parade, stepping forward to present shamrock to Officers and Warrant Officers, who in turn issue it along the ranks.

When her husband, Prince William, was Colonel of the Irish Guards, the princess was known to sometimes fulfil the role.

In a tradition dating back to 1900, sprigs of shamrock are presented to members of the Battalion on parade by a female member of the Royal Family.

Princess Kate

Princess Kate will not attend St Patrick's Day parade


The Princess of Wales is absent from public events, as she continues to recover from 'planned abdominal surgery' and is not expected to appear in public until after Easter.

The Ministry of Defence has announced that Lady Ghika, wife of the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Major General Sir Christopher Ghika, will replace the princess in the important tradition this year.

Major General Sir Chistopher Ghika was in charge of the military processions for the King's Coronation, Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee and funeral, as well as Prince Philip's funeral.

It is understood the absence of a Royal Family member is not unprecedented, and has happened more than ten times since 1900.

Kate and William

Kate and William attend 2023's St. Patrick's Day Parade


A full contingent of Irish Guardsmen will come together for the parade for the first time since the Coronation celebrations, where 236 officers and soldiers participated.

The Battalion has seen 17 separate deployments to Africa in the last 12 months, to be at the forefront of tackling the illegal wildlife trade, a cause close to Prince William's heart.

They also trained and supported local forces in peace support operations, including counter-improvised explosive device training, and medical courses.

250 Irish Guardsmen will march onto the Parade Square at Mons Barracks on Sunday 17th March, led by their mascot, the 3-year-old Irish Wolfhound, Seamus and the Regiment Band of the Irish Guards.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade is seen as a "high point" of the year for the Irish Guards, which cherishes its Irish cultural roots.

Commanding Officer James Aldridge said: “St Patrick’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the friendships that are so fundamental to our Regimental ethos and identity.

Princess Kate

Princess Kate enjoys a glass of Guinness during last year's parade


“With our busy and diverse operational schedules, it is the most prominent occasion for the Regimental family to come together, and we are really looking forward to welcoming Micks of all ranks, from across the Army, past and present, and their families.

“We will raise a glass to those unable to attend this year, especially those deployed in Africa and elsewhere.”

Also attending the event will be the renowned German classical singer Friederike Krum.

The award-winning mezzo soprano has just been appointed as an ambassador for the Irish Guards Charity.

Looking ahead to the event, Friederike said: "It is a great honour to be attending and showing support to the Irish Guards on their annual St Patrick's Day parade.

"I am sending their Colonel, HRH The Princess of Wales, my best wishes for a speedy recovery."

Princess Kate

The British Army has been forced to replace the Princess of Wales for this year's event


This week, The Princess of Wales found herself in the centre of a media storm when several picture agencies issued dramatic 'picture kill' orders, because the Mother's Day picture of Catherine and her children appeared to have been 'manipulated'.

The day after Kensington Palace released the image taken by Prince William, Catherine apologised conceding she 'occasionally experiments with editing'.

The image, which was the palace's attempt to quash conspiracy theories on social media, only added to the speculation about the princess's health.

Catherine's absence during Sunday's parade, and no other member of the Royal Family being available instead, could be seen as a sign the slimmed down monarchy is increasingly fragile.

The King, who is receiving regular cancer treatment, is also not carrying out public engagements, and a vast majority of the working members of the Royal Family are over the age of 60 and well into retirement age.

The Prince and Princess of Wales's children are at least a decade away from undertaking official duties.

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