Prince George has officially participated in his first grouse hunt, alongside his parents Kate Middleton and Prince William. In contrast, hunting enthusiast Prince Harry avoided the annual tradition. Express claims that the newlywed stayed back in order to appease his new bride Meghan Markle.
Prince George Goes On His First Hunt
Prince George may only be five, but he is already preparing for life on the throne. Even at this tender young age, Prince George Cambridge is expected to partake in the same royal traditions and hobbies as kings before him. Express reported that during the annual royal family trip to Balmoral, Kate Middleton accompanied her oldest son on this adventure. The new first grader reportedly held a toy rabbit on his inaugural hunting trip.
The publication didn’t share any information on the hunt, nor how the five-year-old Prince George reacted to the experience. After the hunting expedition, the young prince enjoyed lunch with his great-grandmother, the Queen, his grandfather, Prince Charles, as well as other royal relations.
Hunting Is A Royal Tradition
The royal hunt has been a tradition for over 150 years, from the days of Queen Victoria and even before. The original and practical purpose of the hunt was for animal management. Nowadays, the hunt is a royal rite of passage. Prince William was only four when he went on his first hunt.
In their usual flair, the royals would make a special day of it as they efficiently culled the excess animals. The royal family includes a hunt with every family holiday. After a hearty breakfast, the royals partner up, hunt and afterwards, enjoy lunch together. This is a close bonding experience within the members of the royal family.
The royal family has been attacked for exposing Prince George to hunting. The five-year-old didn't fire a gun, but he did watch his father and other members of British high society on a traditional bird hunt on the Queen's Scottish estate. @GreenhalghSarah #7News pic.twitter.com/HOE022Yiaw
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) August 29, 2018
Princess Diana Against The Hunt
Although born into aristocracy, where hunting was a very upper class pastime, Princess Diana was not a fan of the royal hunting traditions and believed it to be barbaric. Charles was understandably confused. After the couple married, there was a period of time that Charles, like Harry, avoided the hunt. There were rumors that Charles stopped hunting to appease Diana. Hunting was a huge source of contention between Diana and Prince Charles.
Before they married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in July 1981, Diana Spencer was invited to take part in a shooting party in Sandringham. Giddy in love, she told Charles that she was very happy. The next in line to the thrown interpreted Diana’s words as meaning she loved to hunt. He really believed she enjoyed the royal hunt and the time-honored rituals. What the Duke of Windsor failed to realize was she was lovestruck and the actual hunt was the furthest thing from her mind. At that time, Diana was just happy to be in his presence. After they married, the royal hunt was something she she complained about often. She told a very confused Charles that hunting was savage.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) August 28, 2018
William And Harry Are Hunting Enthusiasts – Prince George seems to be also
Although Prince Harry and Prince William are strong supporters of animal protection groups, their hunting has caused a lot of controversy. The royal princes have long been criticized for doing the opposite of what they preach. On one hand, they promote anti-poaching. Yet both Prince William and Prince Harry remain hunting enthusiasts.
Just a few years ago, Prince William greatly upset conservationist groups. He made controversial statements about trophy hunting in particular. The Duke of Cambridge declared that if an animal was old and perhaps even infertile, it should be fair game for trophy hunters. He suggested that the money that the trophy hunter paid would justly go to conservation groups. Apparently, he believes this sort of trophy hunting would be justified. This is in opposition of when Cecil the lion was killed by Minnesota dentist Walter J. Palmer.
Prince Harry Won't Hunt Animals Because Meghan Markle Disapproves https://t.co/nisXTddoTi
— FARM Animal Rights (@FARMUSA) December 27, 2017
Meghan Markle Is An Animal Advocate
Meghan Markle has long been an advocate for animals. In her now defunct blog The Tig, she has promoted a weekday vegan plant-based lifestyle. Her choices go beyond what she puts into her body. Meghan prefers to wear vegan leather. In addition to cruelty-free leather, she refuses to wear fur.
Unlike the Duchess of Cambridge, who has been actively hunting alongside the royals years before she and William even wed, it is clear that Meghan’s upbringing did not include hunting.
Prince Harry gave up hunting animals because of Meghan Markle. Good for him.https://t.co/pZr0CLDVZT
— Fiona3000 (@IamFiona3000) September 2, 2018
Will Harry And Meghan’s Children Hunt?
Despite recent pregnancy rumors, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have not yet announced if they are expecting a royal baby. Yet, even before the newlyweds begin to have children they may have a serious conversation on how they will raise their children.
Based on Harry skipping the annual Balmoral hunt, the new Duchess of Sussex may insist that their future children avoid all participation in royal hunts. This would be in direct contrast to the way that Prince William and Kate Middleton are raising their children. Who knows in what other ways that Meghan will influence how their children will be raised?
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