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Colonel Kate Middle with 1st Battalion Irish Guards

March 8, 2023 11:58 PM


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The Princess of Wales showcased her down-to-earth nature as she visited the Irish Guards for the first time since becoming honorary colonel today, according to media reports.  Kate Middleton, 41, was almost unrecognisable as she dressed in camouflage kit for the engagement at the snowy Salisbury Plain Training Area this morning.

There, she braved freezing temperatures and snow to help administer first aid to a wounded soldier as part of an exercise. In the drill, members of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards were on foot patrol when they came under fire from an enemy. The exercise involved a soldier suffering a gunshot wound to his lower left leg and being evacuated from the scene by his colleagues.

She could be seen crouching down in the snow as she took part in the exercise, staying warm with a khaki beanie hat and a thick polo neck beneath her camouflage jacket. Today's appearance marks the first time Kate has visited the Irish Guards in her new position as honorary Colonel - she was promoted to her first Army role in December, taking over the position from Prince William.

It comes as Kate's brother-in-law Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed they have christened her niece 'Princess Lilibet Diana' in a small ceremony at their home in California. The Princess swept her brunette locks into a plait for the occasion today and kept warm by wearing a beanie hat. Meanwhile, she kept her makeup neutral, with a sweep of dark eyeliner across her lid and a touch of nude lipstick. She opted for her £155 Berghaus Supalite hiking boots for the engagement, which she has worn on a number of other occasions over the past few years.

Kate has long accompanied her husband to the St Patrick's Day parades of the Irish Guards, handing out sprigs of shamrock – but now will be the regiment's honorary colonel in her own right. During one exercise, she assisted Lance Corporal Jodie Newell in administering first aid. She applied a tourniquet to his lower left leg to stop the bleeding.

The soldier was then moved onto a stretcher where Kate helped with assessing him for further injuries to his torso. She was taken on a tour of the Salisbury Plain training area by Major General Christopher Ghika, commander of the Army in London and the Household Division, and Lieutenant Colonel James Aldridge, commander of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.

Kate heard first-hand about the work members of the battalion have undertaken recently, including meeting guardsmen who have been deployed on security work in Africa, which includes training park rangers on counter-poaching operations. The royal, who a green combat uniform with the rank of colonel, also received a briefing on counter-explosive ordnance - the de-mining training being delivered by the Irish Guards to Ukrainian armed forces.

Finally, she viewed several of the different types of weapons used by the Irish Guards. Lieutenant Colonel Aldridge said his battalion was delighted to welcome Kate to Salisbury Plain for her first visit as Royal Colonel.

He said: 'It is particularly fitting on International Women's Day that a few of our female soldiers met such an inspiring female role model.

'It is a real honour for all the guardsmen to meet their Royal Colonel in the field here on Salisbury Plain and demonstrate a few of our basic operational skills.' Buckingham Palace announced Kate's new role in December, ahead of this year's Trooping the Colour, which has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for more than 250 years. 

The King's Birthday Parade – Charles's first – will take place on the slightly later date of June 17. The King's actual birthday is November 14.



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