How Kate Middleton's 'selfless act' for Prince George and Princess Charlotte defied years of royal tradition

The Princess of Wales turned down the chance of attending a certain royal engagement with her husband Prince William

Prince William and Kate Middleton attend the St Patrick's Day parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2014 split layout with Kate Middleton sat playing outside with Prince George and Princess Charlotte
(Image credit: Getty/ Getty)

Kate Middleton has carried out a 'selfless' act that meant she could spend more time with Prince George and Princess Charlotte and it saw her defy years of royal tradition.

Kate Middleton is known to have carried out a 'selfless' act for the sake of her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte - even if it meant defying years of royal tradition.

The Princess of Wales' parenting style is one many admire and she's proved that she can strike a balance between royal duty and her duties as a parent when she put her children before a traditionally joint royal engagement.

In 2016 Kate missed her first-ever St Patrick’s Day parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, leaving husband Prince William to attend solo. And because her absence defied a royal tradition, Kensington Palace was forced to issue a statement to officially confirm that Kate, who was Duchess of Cambridge at the time, wouldn't be joining him.

At the time the announcement read, “The Duchess has very much enjoyed the occasions when she has been able to attend, but the Duke is the Colonel of the Regiment and is looking forward to presenting the Irish Guards with their Shamrock."

And it's understood that Kate declined the chance to attend in order to spend more quality time with her two children at the time, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The palace statement explained, "While the Duchess has accompanied the Duke every year since his appointment in 2012, and will do so again in future, this year she sadly could not make it because she is prioritising time with her children before next month’s tour of India and Bhutan."

Royal tours can take royal family members away from their loved ones for months on end.

And Kate and William's India and Bhutan tour would take them away from Prince George, who was not yet three, and Princess Charlotte who was yet to celebrate her first birthday, away for six days.

And while Kate faced some criticism for choosing to put her children first over handing out shamrocks in what was a centuries old tradition, it also showed how she was fearless in prioritising things that mattered the most.

Since then, Kate has attended every St. Patrick's Day parade - including the latest one which was held last week which was her first as Colonel of the Irish Guards.

And feeling torn over royal duty and motherhood is something Kate has admitted has forced her to deal with mum guilt - struggles which she also confided in with the Queen.

Speaking on Giovanna Fletcher's podcast, Happy Mum, Happy Baby, she said, "It's a constant challenge - you hear it time after time from moms, even moms who aren't necessarily working and aren't pulled in the directions of having to juggle work life and family life."

She added, "[You're] always sort of questioning your own decisions and your own judgements and things like that, and I think that starts from the moment you have a baby."

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)