Princess Katherine, the new Colonel of the Irish Guards, joined the regiment in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot, England, and honored Ireland with their ensembles. However, this year, the Princess of Wales was heartbroken when she decided not to attend the anniversary ceremony due to her ongoing recovery from abdominal surgery. The princess will be unable to attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade with the British army.

Princess Catherine’s husband, Prince William, would normally conduct the duty as the colonel of the Irish Guards. Although on occasion, she would sometimes do this task too, as it’s customary for a member of the royal family to do so. The British army has been forced to replace the Princess of Wales in a major event for a role normally carried out by a member of the royal family. The Ministry of Defense has announced that Lady Geeka, wife of the regimental Lieutenant Colonel Major General Sir Christopher Geeka, will replace the princess traditionally as Colonel of the Irish Guards.

Princess Katherine would usually attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, stepping forward to present shamrock to officers and warrant officers who, in turn, issue it along the ranks. However, it’s not uncommon for a royal to be absent from the event. Since the tradition began, there have been at least 10 separate incidents when a royal was unable to attend. The Princess of Wales is absent from public events as she continues to recover from planned abdominal surgery and is not expected to appear in public until after Easter. The Ministry of Defense has announced that Lady Geeka, wife of the regimental Lieutenant Colonel Major General Sir Christopher Geeka, will replace the princess in the important tradition this year.

Major General Sir Christopher Geeka boasts impressive Royal credentials, having been in charge of military processions for events such as King Charles’s coronation, Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee, and the funerals of both the queen and Prince Phillip. Last year, the Prince and Princess of Wales made an elegant appearance at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot, England. They both gave speeches at the event. William bid the Irish guards farewell as he passed the title on to Catherine. “It has been one of the great honors of my life to hold that title,” he said. “I may be stepping aside, but in Colonel Katherine, you have a committed, focused, and already incredibly loyal 11th Colonel.” Princess Katherine said, “I really couldn’t be prouder to stand in front of you here today. It really is a true honor to be your Colonel.

I am here to listen to you, to support you, and to champion you in all you do. This is a responsibility I do not take lightly.” On today, the Prince of Wales opened a new youth zone called West in Hammersmith, West London, to highlight how sporting activity can help young people thrive. Prince William’s engagement marked what royal aides will be hoping is a business as usual day of public appearances following days of controversy over the release of the Mother’s Day image by the palace.

AFP was among several agencies, including the Associated Press, Reuters, and Getty Images, that killed distribution of a family photo of Catherine and her three kids due to evidence of digital manipulation of the image. The unprecedented move prompted the palace to issue a statement attributed to Kate, who confessed to occasionally experimenting with editing and apologized for the confusion. Despite growing demands, the palace has stated it has no plans to release the original unaltered photo.

One of the world’s biggest news agencies is now reconsidering its relationship with the Prince and Princess of Wales in the wake of the controversy over a doctored photo of Princess Kate. Kensington Palace is no longer a trusted source, according to Phil Chatwin, global news director of Agents France Press. Speaking Wednesday about the photo debacle on the BBC’s The Media Show.

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