Sgt Rupert Frere/BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE/EPA
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March 17, 2016 08:45 AM

Break out your green! It’s St. Patrick’s Day – and Prince William has the shamrocks to prove it!

With his wife Princess Kate at home looking after their children, the prince made it a solo St. Patrick’s Day celebration with the Irish Guards on Thursday.

William, who has the honorary title of Colonel of the Regiment, took part in the traditional handing out of shamrocks to the officers and servicemen and women at a barracks on the edge of London.

In recent years, Kate has done the job herself or alongside William. But, with a tour of India and Bhutan coming up, she is focused on spending time with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Kate has only one more outing – opening a charity shop in Norfolk not far from her Anmer Hall home – in her public diary before leaving on the tour with William.

Missing the St. Patrick’s Day celebration has raised some eyebrows, as the handing out of the Irish flower has usually been done by female members of the royal family for more than 100 years.

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William, meanwhile, has found himself answering accusations he’s not working enough, while his air ambulance employers have also come to his defense.

Last year, William and Kate, who was 8-months pregnant with Charlotte, attended the parade together in Aldershot. Thursday’s event was closer to London at a barracks at Hounslow, on the western edge of the city.

A Kensington Palace spokeswoman told PEOPLE, “The Duchess has very much enjoyed the occasions when she has been able to attend, but the Duke is the Colonel of the Regiment and is looking forward to presenting the Irish Guards with their Shamrock.

“The Duchess looks forward to marking St Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards many times in the future.”

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