Prince William Carries Out Important Royal Duty at Windsor Castle Ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade

The Duke of Cambridge presented the Irish Guards with their new flag as the Queen likely listened to the ceremony from her private apartments above

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Prince William. Photo: RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty

Prince William is on parade!

The Duke of Cambridge, 39, took the salute from the Irish Guards regiment that he is honorary head of, and presented them with their new colors (flags) at a special ceremony on Tuesday.

The parade, which took place in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, comes ahead of Trooping the Colour on June 2, which not only marks Queen Elizabeth's official birthday but also kicks off the long weekend of celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee. At the annual parade in central London on June 2, the 1st battalion of the Irish Guards will troop their color.

And perhaps the Queen, who would have been sitting in her private apartments in the castle at the time, heard some of the "Three Cheers" for Her Majesty that rang out from the soldiers below.

William was appointed Colonel on the Irish Guards in 2011 and takes part in the presentation of new colors. He and Kate Middleton also attend the St. Patrick's Day celebrations and parade at their base each year.

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After being welcomed to the quadrangle by the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, Prince William was introduced to Major Niall Hall, the Regimental Adjutant, before taking his place on the Saluting Dais.

After the national anthem, God Save the Queen was played, William, 39, then inspected some of the guards lined up in front of him, Carlton-Smith and the Battalion Second-in-Command Major Tim Rogers inspected others.

Before William presented the new flag that is decorated with the regiment's achievements and honors, there was a consecration of the colors by chaplains from the household division of the army.

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In a brief speech, William said, in part: "In this historic Platinum Jubilee year, we rightly celebrate your many achievements. I know that Her Majesty is looking forward to seeing these new colours trooped during Her Official Birthday Parade next month. I also know they will inspire you and your successors to emulate the deeds of the Irish Guardsmen who have gone before as you continue to serve our Nation, in conflict or in peace, at home and abroad."

"The thoughts and prayers of my own family, which enjoys a close and proud connection with the Irish Guards, will be with you as you set about this most important task."

After the remarks, the soldiers gave out a resounding "Three Cheers" for the Queen followed by the same for William.

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At the end of the ceremony, William sat with the regiment's senior and warrant officers for a photograph and he then spent some time with the regiment and their families.

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Earlier in the day, William gave out honors on behalf of the Queen at Windsor Castle, including husband and wife duo Sir Jason and Dame Laura Kenny, who are Olympic cyclists.

William's outing comes a day after he returned from the United Arab Emirates, where he paid condolences following the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. It was the first time that the Queen had asked her grandson to represent her following the death of a foreign ruler.

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