St Patrick's Day parades held in London and Birmingham

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Participants during the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade.Image source, Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Image caption,
It was all smiles at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in St Patrick's Day celebrations across England.

Crowds decked in green, waving shamrocks and the Irish tricolour packed London's Trafalgar Square.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Irish Guards' St Patrick's Day Parade in Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow.

In Digbeth, central Birmingham, a hail storm and rain failed to dampen the celebrations.

Image source, Victoria Jones/PA Wire

There have also been celebrations in Belfast, Dublin, Londonderry, Armagh, Newry, Enniskillen, Downpatrick and Edinburgh. Manchester staged its events last weekend.

The Mayor of London's office organises the festival in the capital to bring the "best of Irish culture and a packed programme of great entertainment to Trafalgar Square".

Marching bands and dancers made their way from Piccadilly.

An official St Patrick's Day event has been held in London since 2002.

Image source, Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The Birmingham parade has been running from Digbeth since 1996.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a beer after the Irish Guards' parade in Hounslow

In Birmingham, a full day of music, dance and activities was planned at various venues.

Image caption,
Birmingham's St Patrick's Day parade was hit by a rain and hail storm

"Throughout the years we have been subjected to all weathers, getting sunburn one year and coming close to frostbite the next," said Gerry Jones from Off Our Trolly Arts, which is part of the festival.

"I hope in some way we have made a difference to add colour and spectacle, to create wonderful memories for both the children taking part, and the tens of thousands of people who attend the event."

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