The Duchess of Cambridge won't be attending the St Patrick's Day festivities for the first time since joining the royal family, as Prince William has been confirmed to be attending alone. Kate has been an annual fixture at the 1st Battalion Irish Guards St. Patrick's Day Parade since 2012.
It is thought that Kate will miss the celebrations because of an official engagement scheduled in Norfolk the following day. The Duchess, who is Royal Patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), will officially open a new EACH charity shop in Holt, Norfolk on Friday 18 March.
During the engagement, Kate will be taken on a tour of the shop by Tracy Rennie, EACH Director of Care. She will also meet some of the charity's retail volunteers, along with EACH supporters and staff. Before leaving, the Duchess will join two families currently receiving care and support from EACH to cut a ribbon officially opening the shop.
Meanwhile the Duke of Cambridge will fulfil his duties as colonel of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards by attending the St Patrick's Day Parade at Calvalry Barracks in Hounslow on Thursday. William will present the sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen of the regiment – a tradition that Kate has followed for the last four years, and was started in 1901 by Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII.
The Duke will meet members of the regiment, before sitting for officers' and sergeants' mess photographs, and then joining the regiment for lunch.
Both William and Kate have carried out a number of official engagements since returning from their recent family skiing holiday with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. On Friday the royal couple visited the urban youth charity XLP to find out about the work being done by their mentoring scheme, and they also united to try and raise awareness of suicide issues on Thursday.