St Patrick's Day celebrated with parades, shamrocks - and three cheers for absent Kate

People have thronged the streets of cities across Ireland and the UK to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

In Dublin, tens of thousands of people, many decked out in shamrock glasses, Irish flags and leprechaun hats, lined the streets for the capital's parade.

More than 4,200 people took part in the procession, featuring 18 performances and pageants including traditional dancers from Bolivia, Ukraine, Georgia and Brazil.

In Belfast, thousands of people gathered to watch as a colourful and noisy parade made its way through the city centre.

Dancers, drummers, giant characters in costume and brightly coloured props delighted the crowds along the route.

The Irish Guards gave three cheers for their absent colonel, the Princess of Wales, at a St Patrick's Day parade at Mons Barracks in Hampshire.

Kate, who has been colonel of the regiment for a year after officially taking over from her husband, has not yet returned to public duties as she recovers from abdominal surgery, but the couple have attended several past parades together.

250 Irish Guardsmen removed their bearskin headdresses before giving three cheers of "hip hip hooray".

They were accompanied by their mascot, a three-year-old Irish wolfhound named Turlough Mor, also known as Seamus.

In Birmingham, large crowds gathered for the first St Patrick's Day parade in five years - the 50th time the city has hosted the celebration.

In London, more than 50,000 people were expected to join the annual procession of Irish marching bands, dance troupes and pageantry through the capital, ending with live performances at Trafalgar Square.