When you marry into a family, it’s a fair bet that there are some traditions that will take a bit of getting used to. After all, every family has their own little quirks and customs. But in the royal family, the tables have turned a bit, as Meghan Markle has reportedly gotten Prince Harry to skip one holiday tradition he’s attended for years, according to the Daily Mail. The prince will be missing the royal pheasant hunt, reportedly because of his wife's deep love of animals.
The hunt is held every year on Boxing Day, according to the Daily Mail, which, for those of us stateside, is an additional holiday observed by several countries, including England, that falls on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. The prince has attended the hunt for more than 20 years, alongside his father and brother, as the outlet reported.
But Markle is a passionate animal lover and has reportedly inspired her husband to skip the hunt, according to The Telegraph. She won’t wear fur and once described herself as a vegan during the week, as The Mirror reported. "She’s a keen animal lover and likes to eat vegan during the week and she has a strict no-fur policy. She has also been encouraging Harry to eat less meat and more fruit and veg and is now keen to fully convert him to her views on hunting,” a source reportedly told the publication.
Kensington Palace, for their part, has denied that there is any validity to the claim that Markle asked Prince Harry to skip the hunt. "This is completely untrue," a source at the palace told The Telegraph.
It should be noted, however, that this isn’t the first time the prince has sworn off a hunting trip, presumably in honor of his wife. In September 2018, he missed a traditional grouse hunt that in Scotland that has been a tradition in the family since 1852, according to Glamour. He also skipped the Boxing Day hunt last year, when he was engaged to Markle and she celebrated Christmas with the royal family, as Glamour reported. Hunting “was always going to be a tricky issue,” for the couple, as The Sun reported. “Meghan is a keen animal rights campaigner and doesn’t like hunting in any form. Harry loves it and has always been out there on Boxing Day. But if it means breaking with long-standing royal traditions to avoid upsetting her, so be it. It’s fair to say that there are some pretty stunned faces around here.”
Even Kate Middleton has taken part in the hunt before, as People reported. In fact, The Sun has a photo of her looking to the sky while wearing an ammunition belt and holding a rifle. Even 5-year-old Prince George got in on the tradition, joining his parents for the grouse hunt in Scotland in 2018, according to the Express.
Prince Harry has been a hunter since he was a pre-teen, according to The Mirror, but his love for the sport reportedly created problems with Markle when he took part in a wild boar hunt in Germany in 2017 while she was in Canada to film the last season of Suits, the outlet reported.
The Vegan Society, a U.K. based nonprofit, told The Telegraph that they are thrilled with Markle’s influence on the royal family. “Traditions are important for every nation but if they involve senseless killing, they should not be allowed to continue. Vegan or not, many Brits strongly oppose hunting animals and we hope to see the Royal family set an example and stop participating in this cruel practice,” a spokesman told The Telegraph.
The truth is, what Markle and Prince Harry are experiencing is a totally normal part of being married; melding two unique sets of desires and traditions into something new. So let’s not be too hard on the prince for perhaps doing something he feels honors his wife and respects her beliefs. More time together can hardly be a bad thing, especially during the holidays.
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