For the first time in five years, Kate Middleton will miss the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade to focus on family. The move has gained some negative feedback where various social media users posted their thoughts on her absence.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance during the said event has been one of highly anticipated highlights of the celebration. In the past few years, the royal mother-of-two has been handing out sprigs of shamrocks to the Irish Guards, Telegraph reported. However, for this year’s event held Thursday, she has decided to stay with her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte in Norfolk.

A source told Telegraph that Prince William’s wife wanted to spend as much time with the two children given the royal couple’s upcoming trip to India and Bhutan. The one-week royal tour will start on April 10 where Prince William and Princess Kate have decided to leave their children at home in Anmer Hall.

Meanwhile, the St. Patrick Day’s event would still be attended by the Duke of Cambridge. According to a Kensington Palace statement, it is Prince William who holds the formal role as Colonel of the Regiment. However, female members of the royal family traditionally attend the event to hand out shamrocks. The said tradition started in 1901 and they were only a handful of times when only a male member of the royal family was present.

The statement added, “The Duchess has very much enjoyed the occasions when she has been able to attend.” Kensington Palace also indicated that she will get to spend St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards “many times in the future” and is already looking forward to these events.

However, her absence from this year’s celebration has sparked several negative feedbacks from netizens, reported. Comments on Facebook and Twitter captured by the report showed some sarcastic comments, as well as messages that conveyed disappointment over the Duchess of Cambridge’s non-attendance.

One of the comments read, "Well she has done it for the last four years - she probably needs a rest!" Meanwhile, a Twitter user also posted that it was a “shame” that the move has broken a “tradition that goes so far back.”

The negative feedback follows recent criticisms that alleged the royal couple were “part time royals” given the number of official engagements they attended as compared to Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth II.