She may have been attending an important royal outing, but Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was in full “mum mode” for St Patrick’s Day on Thursday.
Heading to Mons Barracks, Aldershot, to view a parade from the 1st Battalion Irish Guards with Prince William, the duchess’ attention was immediately drawn to the children in attendance.
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money’s toddler daughter Gaia captivated Catherine, teasing a cheeky laugh out of the royal as she handed over a bouquet of flowers to the duchess then ran to hide behind her mother’s skirt.
The 40-year-old mum of three then chatted with another young girl dressed all in pink, who curtsied sweetly to Catherine as she handed her another bouquet.
But soon Gaia was back, toddling over and reaching up to the royal, who quickly crouched down to delight in the little tot’s antics.
“Shall we swap? Now you have both of them,” Catherine laughed as Gaia reached for the flowers, later calling the one-year-old “so sweet”.
Gaia’s mother, Lorraine Money, was touched to see a royal as senior as Catherine interact so playfully with her daughter at the parade, the first the duchess has attended in two years.
“The Duchess was lovely. Gaia took both bouquets and she let her keep them. Gaia has been practising her curtsey at nursery school but failed!” she said, via Hello! Magazine.
Lorraine also revealed the duchess is excited about her and Prince William’s upcoming royal tour, adding: “I am from Jamaica, and we spoke about Jamaica as they are going there next week.”
A mum of three herself, Catherine has always had a way with children and is often photographed stealing moments with the Queen’s littlest subjects during royal outings.
She recently confessed that spending time with young ones like Gaia leaves her feeling “very broody”, something husband William teases her for.
“William always worries about me meeting under one-year-olds. I come home saying, ‘Let’s have another one’,” she said last month.
WATCH: Prince William’s hilarious reaction as Catherine cuddles a baby on a royal outing. Story continues after video.
Of course, William dotes on their three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – as much as Catherine does and even lets his fatherly nature shine through at royal events.
He was snapped chatting happily with an Irish Guard who was holding his infant son at the event, the future king reaching out to tug at the baby’s little foot playfully.
Of course, the outing wasn’t just about adorable children; this is the first official St Patrick’s Day parade the couple have attended in two years, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Catherine took on the historic role of handing out shamrocks to the gathered troops, while William was dressed in his finest military regalia.
His wife was also dressed for the occasion, donning an elegant green ensemble as she always does for St Patrick’s Day.
The duchess paired a tailored belted coat dress by Lauren Green London, which retails for $5,700, with a chic pillbox hat from Lock & Co, completing the look with her trusty Emmy London Rebecca Greenery suede pumps.
She kept her jewellery minimal, opting for a small pair of emerald and diamond drop earrings and a shamrock brooch she pinned to her lapel.