Kate Middleton has caused an upset on social media after she broke tradition this year, pulling out of the normal annual event of handing the Irish Guards their traditional St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks.
Every year since 1901, a female member of Britain’s royal family has handed the traditional St. Patrick’s Day shamrock to the Hounslow-based Infantry Battalion on March 17. However, this year Kate won’t be following the normal trend. It seems her husband, Prince William will be doing the job instead.
Reportedly the Duchess of Cambridge has decided to rather spend time with Prince George and ten-month-old Princess Charlotte at their family home in Norfolk, causing an uproar on social media.
Kate Middleton, 34, took over her role in the 115-year-old tradition from Princess Anne back in 2012, and last year saw her perform the well-loved ceremony while eight months pregnant with Princess Charlotte, as pictured below.
According to the Daily Mail, speaking of the St. Patrick’s Day event, a source close to the family told them, “It appears that Kate, in London for Commonwealth Day, was keen to get back to Norfolk and her children. So William will dole out the shamrocks. Naturally Irish Guards officers are deflated.”
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) March 16, 2016
Twitter and Facebook saw many posts from upset members of the public, including one who commented, “I feel disappointed – if the Royals start breaking with good traditions, then I’m not sure what they’re there for.” Another more understanding social media user said, “Well she has done it for the last four years – she probably needs a rest.”
According to a Kensington Palace spokesman, the Duchess (Kate Middleton) has very much enjoyed the occasion when she has been able to attend. However, he added that the Duke (Prince William) is the Colonel of the Regiment and is looking forward to handing over the traditional shamrock to the Irish Guards in her place. The spokesman did say Kate is looking forward to keeping up with the tradition many times in the future.
“The Duchess looks forward to marking St Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards many times in the future.”
According to the International Business Times, besides the recent incident with St. Patrick’s Day, the royal couple have been losing favor with their followers after a series of PR blunders. Kate and William have, reportedly, been dubbed “part-time royals” after it was shown they carry out far fewer royal engagements than Prince Philip, 94, and Queen Elizabeth II, 89, have performed in the past.
In fact, the aging Duke of Edinburgh was involved in 250 official duties both in the U.K. and abroad during 2015, as compared to the 198 royal engagements involving Prince William, Kate, and Prince Harry combined. According to sources, Prince William now also has a part-time job as a pilot with the East Anglia Air Ambulance.
In a bid to improve their reputation with the public, in the space of only four days Prince William has reportedly been involved in 11 public engagements. Apparently shrugging off the criticism against the popular couple, William told British broadcaster ITV in a recent interview that royal appearances “take a lot of organizing.”
Maybe Kate Middleton is feeling the strain, as apparently in the last week she and William have attended several events, including a day of focus on male suicide on March 10, a visit to the charity XLP on March 11, as well as the Commonwealth Service on March 14.
Reportedly, they were also involved in two private engagements, including a visit to a suicide refuge in Finsbury Park, North London, after which they met with families bereaved by suicide at Kensington Palace.
Kate is also reportedly busy planning a trip to India and Bhutan with Prince William in April, which is why she is eager to spend more time with both her children, who will not be accompanying the royal couple on their tour.
[Photo Kate Middleton on St. Patrick’s Day 2015 by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]