The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, presented members of the Irish Guards with traditional sprigs of shamrock on 17 March as part of the St Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks.

Pregnant Middleton was joined by her husband Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who attended the Parade as Colonel of the Regiment.

Pinned to her coat was the gold shamrock brooch which was originally presented by the Irish Guards to the Queen Mother, who traditionally led the ceremony during her life.

Middleton also pinned a traditional sprig on the battalion's wolfhound mascot Domhnall.

The three-year-old dog, which weighs 11-and-a-half stone, was also treated to a sip of Guinness after the ceremony.

The presentation of the sprig follows a century-old tradition inaugurated by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, after the Irish Guards' service in the Boer War.

Queen Victoria once said: "We are not amused" to a courtier who told a joke not to the Queen's liking. But that wasn't the case with the duchess as she grasped her nose trying to stifle laughter, as one of the squaddies around her made a comment about the photographer taking too long.

Later, the longest-serving guardsman in the battalion proposed a toast to the royal couple with William enjoying a pint of Guinness.