A great deal of thought goes into what the Royal Family wear to engagements, at home and abroad. Clothing and jewellery will often have a symbolic significance, or sentimental value. Kate Middleton once wore a beautiful brooch that had both.
St Patrick’s Day is the official regimental celebration of the Irish Guards, when fresh shamrock is presented to members of the regiment, whether they are in the UK or abroad on operations.
A member of the Royal Family usually does this except in wartime. This year, the honour was bestowed upon Kate.
Melissa Lund told Express.co.uk: “During a visit to the First Battalion Irish Guards St Patrick’s day parade at Mons Barracks, Kate gave a nod to the Emerald Isle, wearing a green, military style coat with epaulettes.
“She also wore a special gold shamrock brooch. This brooch belongs to the Irish Guards and is loaned to female members of the Royal Family who are associated with the regiment.”
Kate’s special gold brooch is in the shape of a shamrock, which is the symbol of Ireland.
Upon close inspection, there is a tiny circular emerald in the centre of the brooch which joins all three leaves.
But why is the shamrock such a special symbol, and why has it become so synonymous with the Irish nation?
Tenon Tours stated: “While trying to convert the Irish into Christians, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity with each leaf representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“The three leaves of a shamrock are also said to stand for faith, hope and love.”
A shamrock to Ireland is much the same as England’s rose, Scotland’s thistle and Wales’ daffodil.
At the presentation in March 2022, Kate wore her shamrock proudly. She pinned it to her olive Alexander McQueen coat dress.
She accessorised with a matching olive fascinator, complete with floral adornments in the same colour.
To keep warm in the typically chilly Emerald Isle, Kate donned a sophisticated pair of black gloves.
She paired this with a classic pair of black rounded-toe pumps in suede, with a short heel.
Kate was conscious of honouring the country she was in, right down to her emerald and diamond earrings, as well as her shamrock brooch.
But Princess Kate wasn’t the first royal who was tasked with presenting the shamrock, having only taken up the position in 2012.
Both royals have been spotted wearing the gold shamrock brooch at events relating to the Irish Guard.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2009, Princess Anne paired her emblematic brooch with a smart dark green jacket and a living shamrock plant on the lapel, as she visited the First Battalion Irish Guards at their new home, Victoria Barrack, London.
In 2000, the Queen Mother stepped out at the Irish Guards Centenary service of thanksgiving and commemoration at the Guards Chapel, London. She wore the emerald and gold shamrock brooch with a baby blue hat and coat.