The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined world leaders in wishing the Irish a Happy St Patrick’s Day.
William and Kate appeared in the special video greeting, as did US president Joe Biden, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, New Zealand’s leader Jacinda Ardern and Australian PM Scott Morrison, among others.
The duke began by delivering his greeting in Irish, saying: “Beannachtai na Feile Padraig oraibh” – Happy St Patrick’s Day – followed by Kate, who said: “We’re delighted to wish you all a very Happy St Patrick’s Day.”
William quipped to his wife: “How come you got that easy bit?”
The couple, who were both dressed in shades of green – the republic’s national colour – recalled the warm welcome they received during their visit to Ireland last March just ahead of the first lockdowns.
William said: “We were so thrilled to be able to visit Ireland just over a year ago, a few short weeks before all of our lives were turned upside down by the pandemic.”
Kate added: “The warm welcome that we received everywhere was a testament to the friendship between our two countries, and the strength of the relationship between the UK and Ireland.”
The duke said they recognised this St Patrick’s Day would be different, but he hoped people would still be able to celebrate safely.
William added: “We know that for Irish people all around the world today won’t be the same as normal, but we hope you can celebrate safely in any case.”
The duke, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards, and the duchess traditionally attend the Guards’ St Patrick’s Day parade each year at barracks in London.
William sent a letter to the British Army regiment, expressing his pride at the “grit and determination” they have shown over the last year during the pandemic.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin has already urged the public to enjoy a safe St Patrick’s Day.
He stressed it was very important that people avoid social gatherings amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.