After the bittersweet speech, the Princess of Wales delivered a special message of her own. She stated, “I really couldn’t be more proud to stand here before you today. It is truly an honor to be your colonel. I’m here to listen to you, support you and defend you in everything you do – this is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
“Last week I took the opportunity to visit some of you on Salisbury Plain, to see your inspiring work firsthand. It was a bitterly cold day and while showing off your skills to yet another visitor was probably the last thing you wanted to do, all I saw was enthusiasm, pride and incredible dedication. I was greatly impressed by your insistence that nothing is as bad as it seems, and especially by your boundless, irreverent, glorious sense of humour.
‘That’s what makes you who you are and what makes the Irish Guards unique. I look forward to spending more time with you and your family and seeing your dedication to duty and service in all that you do.
“But before I close, I want to thank Colonel William. He has always spoken of his fierce pride for this regiment. I know he will continue to support us all in the work we do.”
Kensington Palace shared details of the engagement in a statement, previously saying: “The parade will conclude with a royal salute and a march past where Her Royal Highnesses will salute as the new Colonel. After the parade, Their Royal Highnesses will meet the Irish Guards Association, made up of former members of the Irish Guards. The princess will be invited to inspect the front rank, while the prince will inspect the second rank.
“After the inspection, the Prince and Princess will meet with members of the regiment before sitting down for official photos from the officers’ and sergeants’ mess. The Prince and Princess will then visit the Junior Ranks dining room where the Battalion Senior Guardsman proposes a toast to Their Royal Highnesses.’
It comes days after the Prince and Princess of Wales joined King Charles III, the Queen Consort and the Earl and Countess of Wessex at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. The Princess of Wales looked elegant in a vintage-inspired Erdem peplum jacket and matching skirt, which she paired with Princess Diana’s earrings and the Prince of Wales’ feather brooch.