This set of articles about St. Patrick’s Day includes an article about the British royals handing out shamrocks on the day in 1915. They still do this. In 2014 Princess Kate was the member of the family giving out shamrocks as shown in the picture..
THE CATHOLIC JOURNAL
Friday, March 12, 1915
The Wearing of the Green
Irish Guards Are Decorated With the Shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day.
With the improvements in the relations of Irishmen and Englishmen, due to the enactment of the home rule law. the unifying influences of the fighting side by side in the Boar war and the great European struggle and other causes, the Irish shamrock is in a fair way to take its place with the English rose in the esteem of men and women on the eastern shore of the Irish channel. No longer is the shamrock “forbid by law to grow on Irish ground.” And it displays its pleasant green now on Patrick’s day in London and Liverpool and Edinburgh as bravely as in Dublin and Cork.
On March 17 the Irishmen in the British army ass sprigs and bunches of shamrock to their customary badges. The men of the Irish guards, one of the crack regiments of the army, are especially distinguished, for they wear shamrocks presented to them by members of the royal family. For many years Dowager Queen Alexandra, widow of King Edward VII and mother of King George V, has presented specimens of Ireland’s floral emblem to the officers and men of the Irish guards. There is n fear that the guardsmen. although serving in the British army, will ever forget their national festival. St. Patrick’s day fro them begins with a church parade and distribution of the queen’s shamrocks. Shortly after midday they sit down to a substantial dinner, and the afternoon is devoted to a Gaelic football match–this in time of peace. War, however, works many changes.
Of course everything connected intimately with the regiment must be adorned with the trefoil. The flags are decorated, the drums ring out more clearly because they wear the green, and the regimental mascot, a noble Irish wolfhound, bears proudly in his collar a generous bunch of shamrock.
Ireland’s Stirring Song.
The origin of the unofficial anthem of Ireland, “St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning,” is most obscure. The earliest known copy appears in Rutherford’s “Country Dances.” published in 1749, but it is said to have been played by the Iris pipers at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and was probably current for some time before this. The tune is found attached to various rollicking old English songs.
St. Patrick an American Money.
Very few people know that for a long time copper pennies bearing the effigy of St. Patrick circulated and were legal tender in the land that is now the United States of America.
At the time the Confederation of Kilkenny levied troops and sent out ambassadors it also coined money, and some of the subsidiary coins found there way into the colony of New Jersey.
Mark Newby took to that colony a large quantity of Patrick’s halfpense, as they were called, and they were made legal tender in 1682.
Some specimens of these coins are preserved by the Kilkenny Archaeological society. On one side of them St. Patrick, wearing a miter and carrying the crozier, is represented as holding up the “seamrog” as the emblem of the Trinity. On the other side is a representation of a king playing a harp.