It’s no secret the Duchess of Cambridge loves children — she has three of her own, and early childhood education is a cause she’s championed in her role as a royal.

So, it was not surprising to see the special attention Kate Middleton paid to toddlers and kids at the annual 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot, England yesterday, as she and Prince William showed up to lend their support after missing the event the last two years due to the pandemic.

Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) and Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet soldiers 1st Battalion Irish Guards and members of their families, during a St Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, south west of London, on March 17, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) and Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet soldiers 1st Battalion Irish Guards and members of their families, during a St Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, south west of London, on March 17, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Usually Middleton steals the show at these events with her regal fashion and bright smile, but this year Middleton couldn’t hold a candle to the adorable daughter of one of the Irish guards.

Gaia Money, a 20-month-old little girl, was chosen to deliver flowers to Middleton. Dressed in a navy blue, A-line coat with red trimmings and matching red tights, Gaia couldn’t have been sweeter in her shy interactions with the Queen-to-be.

ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: 20-month-old Gaia Money and her mother Lorraine Money attend the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: 20-month-old Gaia Money and her mother Lorraine Money attend the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

After carrying out her official duty of handing a bouquet of flowers to Middleton, Gaia quickly ran to hide behind her mom. Soon after, she mustered up the courage to ask for the flowers back.

Middleton can be seen obliging the toddler with a big laugh.

ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge smile and laugh as Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money puts a bearskin hat on his 20-month-old daughter Gaia Money’s head as they attend the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge smile and laugh as Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money puts a bearskin hat on his 20-month-old daughter Gaia Money’s head as they attend the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

 

The ornamental cap almost swallows the toddler whole and the Duke and Duchess appear positively amused.

ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge smile and laugh as Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money puts a bearskin hat on his 20-month-old daughter Gaia Money’s head as they attend the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge smile and laugh as Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money puts a bearskin hat on his 20-month-old daughter Gaia Money’s head as they attend the 1st Battalion Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Photographer Chris Jackson shared the photo on Instagram, expressing his delight with the photo.

“Absolutely loved this today at the St Patrick’s Day parade with The Irish Guards in Aldershot. Lovely moment for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Lieutenant Colonel Rob Money puts a bearskin hat on his 20-month-old daughter Gaia Money 🇮🇪 ☘️,” he shared.

Middleton was clearly in her element at the parade, visiting with members of the crowd, and even giving a few scratches to the regiment’s Irish Wolfhound.

ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is guests of honour at this years Irish Guards St Patricks Day Parade held at the home to 1st Battalion Irish Guards, Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. Their Royal Highnesses presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is guests of honour at this years Irish Guards St Patricks Day Parade held at the home to 1st Battalion Irish Guards, Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022 in Aldershot, England. Their Royal Highnesses presented the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

The Cambridges have had a very busy month. Last week they met with volunteers at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London, and this week attended a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

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Next, they’ll be heading off on a special royal tour to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On their tour they will travel to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.