The Prince and Princess of Wales visited the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in Windsor on Wednesday to watch the St. David’s Day parade, the first time the royal couple have visited the regiment since William became Colonel.
In true diplomatic form, Kate paid tribute to the Welsh nation on its national day in a red coat and leek brooch at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor.
The princess often wears red for her visits to Wales to represent the Welsh flag, which made her stand out amongst the Guardsmen at the ceremony, and had a real leek also pinned to her lapel alongside the diamond brooch version.
The humble root vegetable is so well established as part of Welsh culture that it forms part of the St. David’s Day parade, where Prince William handed out leeks to the Officer and Guardsman who then issued them along the ranks, and Kate received a leek as a gift from the regiment.
Eagle-eyed royal fans have suggested that the diamond leek brooch might be the same as the one belonging to the late Queen Elizabeth. However, other members of the Royal Family have previously worn replicas of the diamond pin to public events, including Camilla, Queen Consort, who wore a replica to her husband King Charles’ first trip to Wales since he acceded the throne in September 2022.
The original leek brooch was presented to the late monarch in 1960 by the Welsh Guards. Created from drawings made by the Welsh Guardsmen, the brooch was a gift, paid for by each of the guards themselves, who each paid a 12 and a half pence contribution.
The queen wore the diamond brooch on several occasions since receiving it over 60 years ago, with its last significant appearance on her lapel being the pared-back 2020 Trooping of the Colour ceremony during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prince William’s late mother, Diana, also wore a replica for the St. David’s Day parade in 1990 when she was Princess of Wales.
Kate accessorised her red double-breasted coat with a black scarf, black hat by Jules millinery, black leather gloves and black high-heeled boots, whilst William wore the traditional uniform of the Welsh Guards.
During the parade, William received the Royal Salute during the traditional march-past, his first since he took on the role of the Prince of Wales from his father. He and Kate later met with families from the Regiment as well as a group of troops from the 5th Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR) who are currently in the UK helping to train the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Watch: Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales visit Welsh Guards for St David's Day parade