Duchess Meghan won’t have to pretend to enjoy grouse shooting at Balmoral

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue their Australia/ New Zealand Tour

The idea of going on vacation in the summer months is a pleasant dream. But why in God’s name would you want to spend your Hot Girl Summer vacay in Scotland, wearing tweed and shooting deer and birds for two months? How is that relaxing? Which probably explains why the younger royals only do pop-bys at Balmoral for about a week at a time. So far, we still haven’t gotten a confirmation on whether Meghan and Harry have arrived at Balmoral, but I would assume that they’re either there already or will be soon. And here’s one less thing for Meghan to worry about: this year’s grouse season is awful, so the Queen canceled the grouse hunt.

Meghan Markle may be breathing a sigh of relief as the long-held tradition of grouse hunting at Balmoral may not take place this year. The sport is said to have been cancelled at the Scottish castle due to a fall in bird numbers, and the Duchess of Sussex, 38, reportedly disapproves of shooting. Yesterday was known as the “Glorious 12th” of August, which kick-starts the start of the grouse hunting season.

The sport is a popular tradition on the Queen’s estate during their summer holidays, but breeding has been affected by heavy snowfall last year, followed by a dry and humid start to this summer.

An estate source told the Mail: “Grouse numbers go up and down but this year they have plummeted. There probably will be no grouse shooting on Balmoral this season. It’s very disappointing. There is still [deer] stalking.”

[From The Sun]

The Sun goes on and on about how Meghan is an “animal lover” and a “vegan,” which she is not. I mean, she loves animals but she’s not a vegan. She doesn’t eat meat 24-7, but she’s a meat-eater to some extent and this whole “Meghan is a vegan and hates to hunt” thing was made up by British tabloids to otherize Meghan and remind people that she doesn’t “fit in” with the royal family. That being said, I doubt Meghan will be sorry that the grouse hunt was cancelled. I’m sure the tabloids will find some way to blame the bad grouse season on Meghan. She’s a witch and that’s why the grouse have mites!

Also: the Sussexes – mostly Meghan – have been active on Instagram in the past week. Meghan posted a “favorite quote” from Princess Diana several days ago and people tried to make it into a big deal because DIANA. I think it’s more like… Meghan is the kind of person who likes to post inspirational quotes on her social media. She’s that earnest. The SussexRoyal Insta also posted some photos of elephants for World Elephant Day, and in one of the shots, you can see Meghan’s hands touching an elephant trunk – it’s a photo from Meghan and Harry’s first trip together, to Botswana in 2017, and you can see Meghan’s Hand of Fatima ring (made by Kismet of Milka).

View this post on Instagram

🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘 Today is #WorldElephantDay and we are pleased to announce that since we followed our friends at @ElephantswithoutBorders (EWB) on Instagram in July, when we were celebrating the environment, you and our friend @TheEllenFund (@TheEllenShow) have spread the word and EWB have been able to help protect 25 elephants by fitting them with satellite navigation collars! These collars allow the team at EWB to track the elephants, as well as to learn their essential migratory patterns to keep their corridors safe and open so future generations of elephants can roam freely. In honour of this amazing support, EWB have named their most recently collared Elephant…ELLEN! We can’t wait to see where she will go! 🐘 Two years ago on World Elephant Day, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined Dr Chase to help in this conservation effort. Below, a few words from Mike and his partner Kelly at EWB: • ‘Today is a day to honor and celebrate the majestic elephant and to make a strong stand for conserving and protecting one of the world’s most beloved animals. elephants are intelligent, sentient beings capable of emotions from joy to grief. They are ‘environmental engineers,’ a key-stone umbrella species, and the fight to save them is in effect, a fight to save entire ecosystems and all wildlife. Today elephants are facing many challenges; habitat loss and competition for resources creates conflict with humans, climate change and fires destroy much needed resources and poaching for the demand of ivory makes elephants bigger targets than ever. African elephants are especially prone to human-wildlife conflict because of their large home ranges. Finding, preserving and creating elephant corridors is therefore of great importance in helping to maintain habitats suitable for movement and minimising human-elephant conflict. Corridors are a mitigation technique to better the livelihoods of local communities and the elephants themselves, by providing environment and ample space for wildlife to navigate from one habitat patch to another, without affecting the livelihoods of communities.’ • EWB – Dr Mike Chase, Ms Kelly Landen . 📸 by DOS © SussexRoyal Additional photos: EWB

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Instagram.

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67 Responses to “Duchess Meghan won’t have to pretend to enjoy grouse shooting at Balmoral”

  1. Bettyrose says:

    I give. I couldn’t marry into the RF. Playing nice with the old timey in-laws isn’t something I could do full time.

    • Eliza says:

      The 24/7 security guards, not being able to enter a building without someone sweeping it quick. Never being able to voice a political option even if it’s basic human rights discussion. Then add the racist/xenophobic relatives; the exclusionary aristo friends who notoriously won’t accept anyone not born of their group. The press who live to build up and tear down on the same day. Giving up your career, homeland, and living in hiding to just live …. I can’t imagine many who would want to marry into this family.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Chelsy & Cressy & Isabella sure didn’t!

      • VS says:

        @BayTampaBay — how do we know Cressida was given the option? I think Chelsy perhaps

        As far as Isabella is concerned, was she seriously considered by PW?

        I doubt it. The only lady who has credence and whom I think might have really said NO is Chelsy….but who really knows?

      • Ramona Q. says:

        Maybe M&H have an agreement: she will truly try her hardest to make a royal life work. If she’s miserable, he will ditch the monarchy for her and they’ll move to LA, and she’ll resume her career. I could see him choosing her over the royal family.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @VS, just making a snarky comment. However, IMHO, Chelsy, Cressy & Isabella wanted nothing to do with the Royal life that comes with being a member of the BRF.

        I think Harry very much wanted Chelsy & Cressy and William very much wanted Isabella.

  2. Melissa says:

    Meghan must be the most important person in the Royal Family because every royal news story must include her name no matter the subject.

  3. (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

    I’m sure it’s beautiful, and if you *are* an outdoorsy person, it’d be Nirvana… but after a week or two a lot of it would get old. Esp. being with TQ. While I’m sure she’s more in “Granny-Mode”, there is still adhering to HER schedule with meals and rising, DRESSING for meals (which Diana said, esp. over Xmas involved changing up to 5 times a day), and it just reeks of exhaustion, to always have to mind your ps & qs around Her Maj and PP.

    • Becks1 says:

      I’m here. I think spending a week at a Scottish castle sounds wonderful, but longer than that and I’d probably go nuts, especially with the strict schedule and costume changes.

    • Bettyrose says:

      This. A rural Scottish getaway actually sounds very pleasant…until you throw in the schedules and costume changes and ignoring the bloodsport. Like..can I just go hiking with my dogs without fear of getting accidentally shot?

    • Eliza says:

      The costume changes are easier when you don’t pack, lay out your own clothes, and have someone help dress/style you. Most stay in separate homes on the estate, so they’re not following the Queens schedule unless invited by the Queen to do something. So less formal than Christmas.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I would not have a problem with anything in Scotland as long as I had a trunk of new books to read, plenty of wine and chef on call to make me ham & Swiss on rye sandwiches with french fries. LOL!

  4. Eliza says:

    Don’t worry they got plenty of Bambis to shoot on the estate. Or go to a neighbor’s estate that might not care about numbers. And if all else fails they’ll skip over to Spain for some wild boar hunting.

  5. Enn says:

    Just wondering what people would say if W&K used a Diana quote…

    Also for the love of God, those captions are too long. I never read past the first para.

    • Nahema says:

      This made me laugh. William & Kate would be praised to the hilt on the daily mail and torn to shreds on here of course. The reporting and comments on here are almost always an exact opposite but no less hatred.

      • VS says:

        That’s so inaccurate…….W&K are only criticize for their work (or lack of it!)………don’t try to make it into something else.

        No one has ever try to otherize them in here…..this is gaslighting at best and disingenuous at worst

    • Exhausted says:

      I don’t think anyone is obligated to read them.

      • noway says:

        Of course not, but it defeats the purpose of it, and I say this as a long winded commenter too. One reason I don’t generally post on those apps. I’m just not concise enough.

    • VS says:

      It is fine….they are for those who can read past the headlines or the 1st paragraph…….I think the KP IG page might be more your style although they are now copying the Sussexes with long captions as well. Perhaps you could try the other RF members?

  6. SJR says:

    Outdoors? Where the bugs and bite-y things are?
    I am good for a couple hours, if by water possibly 1-2 extra hours max.
    This SJR here is an indoor lady, not a hunting/peeing in the woods/sleeping on the ground kinda human being.

    Go along to be polite but an entire weekend? I will be reading a book someplace inside the beautiful country house, thanks. :)

    • Bettyrose says:

      SJR ,

      I’m more of an in door girl myself, though I love a brisk early morning dog walk/hike with pup(s). Otherwise, a castle with ancient charm, modern conveniences, and sweeping views of a Scottish landscape? I could spend at least a week or two wandering those halls. What I can’t abide is other people’s inflexible schedules. That’s not a vacation, imo.

      • ADS says:

        “What I can’t abide is other people’s inflexible schedules.”

        Ohmigod so much this! When the heck did people forget how to relax?

    • oddly says:

      Ditto…….my extended family like ski holidays, I stay in the lodge by the fire in front of the biggest window I can find with a good book and some hot chocolate/coffee, bliss and never a bruise or broken bone.

  7. Whatabout says:

    I actually don’t think Meghan will make the trip this year. I don’t believe Kate did either after George (obviously), Charlotte and Louis births. I get the sense Balmoral is probably tough with a newborn.

    • Original Jenns says:

      If she doesn’t (perfectly reasonable choice), I can see the new headlines. “Meghan snubs the Queen! Refuses invite, says Queen can visit her!” or “Queen fed up with Meghan! Bans her from Scotland!” or “Kate & Meghan Feud! Future Queen bans her from Balmoral!” or “Scotland votes – No Meg allowed!” I think I have the beginnings of a racist, classicist, sexist career here…

  8. Jamie says:

    For heaven’s sake, Prince Harry said in their engagement interview that he popped the question over a *roast chicken* dinner. How dumb are these reporters that they’re still writing that she’s a vegan?!

    • SV says:

      The Tig was full of her cooking not only meat, but game animals like boar. I don’t even think she has an issue with hunting if people are eating what they kill. It is always amazing how she has been the priority subject for three years now and they still blindly ingnore anything that conflicts with their prejudices.

    • notasugarhere says:

      It is one of the things the tumblr crazies latched on to. In one interview years ago, she said she mostly eats vegan during the shooting week. The haters spun that to “She is pretending to be vegan, she’s lying” as they do most things about Meghan.

    • bettyrose says:

      I wish she were a vegan in the way I wish the whole world were vegan, but there’s plenty of evidence she’s not – the love of my life is the furthest thing from vegan. so it’s hardly a deal breaker for me. Sport hunting would be, though. I don’t know how she handles that.

  9. Kristic says:

    I was in France the other week and ended up chatting with a couple from England over dinner. They were pretty well-off — properties in Nice and a main residence in Diana’s ancestral town — and lovely to chat with but I was taken aback by their views on Meghan. I mentioned that she was luminous and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. They said, “oh yes, she’s quite the actress.” They love Kate and William, but are incredibly cynical about Meghan. It made me feel quite sorry for her. That would be difficult to deal with. I hope she’s getting a lot of support and that she proves everyone wrong!

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I know there is much antagonism towards Meghan because she is biracial. I am in no way trying downplay the racism BUT the more more English people I speak to (there are many in Florida) the more I see the dislike being just as much (maybe more) about her being a Yank and an actress to boot.

      • Some chick says:

        Convenient excuses. I don’t buy it. They know they can’t openly drag her for being black so they go for the socially acceptable criticisms. I’m surprised they didn’t think to throw in “divorced” to top it off.

        So, what did they think of the whole mess with Prince Andrew?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “So, what did they think of the whole mess with Prince Andrew?”

        That the whole mess needs to come out in the open. If there is a preponderance of evidence that laws have been violated then Andrew needs to be charged and tried. If there is NOT a preponderance then there is nothing anyone can do.

        My friends did not say they thought Andrew guilty only that if he was found guilty they would not be surprised as the BRF has always been around and privy to shady characters either by choice such as Laurens van der Post and Anthony Blunt or due to the nature of the Monarchy such as Kings of Saudi Arabia and POTUS Donald J. Trump.

      • noway says:

        @BayTampaBay Interesting. First, I don’t think you can down play the American, Yank, lower class angle either. If she was average white girl I think she would still get a boatload of crap. The racist part just adds a whole bad layer to it.

        Second my fear with Andrew, mainly by the wording of their statement is there won’t be enough evidence. I think he was with the girl(s), but I think they were at the age of consent. This is the reason for the statement he wasn’t with “underage” girls. The wording of the statement was so odd, and it just stood out to me, and made me think this is where it will end up. Plus, I doubt he paid for anything, so it won’t even look like prostitution from him. It’s sad we always seem to convict only the people who really had no choice and are victims. Prostitutes are usually convicted not the pimps, and this is just really another version of that. Granted the girls aren’t going to jail, but they were in a type of prison with Epstein for years.

      • ADS says:

        I’m English, born and bred. I live on the outskirts of London but work very centrally and because of where I work I it is not unusual to see the Royals coming and going.

        No one I know has any issue with Meghan Markle. There was a lot of excitement around the wedding – more than with Wills and Kate – I think partly because of the modernity of the pairing and the consequent sense of history being made. There was also a lot of interest around Archie’s birth – again I think partly due to him being the first (in modern times at any rate) mixed race born member of the RF.

        Aside from that, most people don’t care much one way or another about any of them other than when they are perceived as spending too much money and doing too little to justify it.

        There is definitely more fascination with MM than with other members because she is biracial. More people relate to her and want to see her succeed. The tabloid attacks have led mainly to bemusement and a sense that middle England is way more racist than we realised. But then Brexit (and now Bojo becoming PM) was a pretty strong indicator in any event.

    • leena says:

      @ some chick. Not saying one way or the other in respect of this couple, but some people might actually dislike her without it having anything to do with her being biracial. How do you prove a negative though?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I have no doubt the biracial element is a deal killer and the nail in the coffin for many English such as 90% of the commentariat of The Daily Fail but English women I have talked to feel (to different degrees) that Meghan has made very little or no effort to become British and really has no desire to do so. I am not saying I agree or disagree with my English friends and English acquaintances, I am only presenting their opinions as stated to me.

        FYI: 4 of the 5 English women did not care for the Sussex wedding.

      • leena says:

        As an English person it didn’t bother me that she was biracial, divorced or American. I just hope/d for their sakes, and now Archie’s, that it works out.

      • notasugarhere says:

        They’ve been married for little over a year. “made little effort to become British”? She’s only just moved there, and if she started acting like she was UK-born, she’d be attacked for that too.

        Mary wasn’t forced to stop her attachment to Australia. Ditto Maxima and Argentina, Charlene and South Africa, Marie and France. Why is it only Meghan is required to give up everything from her pre-married life?

    • Susan says:

      Maybe you were equally offputting to them with you gushing about the luminousness of a stranger. It’s all in how you look at it.

      • Kristic says:

        Have to say I find your comment to be pretty rude. The point of my comment was that I encountered English people — they were older, probably late 50s early 60s — who were not enthusiastic about Meghan. We had a lovely chat — I won’t go into detail. I just don’t get where you get off criticizing me for commenting on Meghan’s charisma to this couple. Maybe just say hmm, to yourself next time.

  10. Emeraldeyes says:

    Scotland is gorgeous. Who knows? Meghan might like it. She seems adventurous. She and Harry were said to have visited Norway mid winter to see the Northern lights and she lived in Toronto so it’s not like brisk weather will deter her.

    People project so much on her. She could well be very chill and willing to compromise to accommodate Harry’s activities and family.

  11. Amy Too says:

    My favorite part was where they said there would still be “(deer) stalking.” They could’ve left them deer part out and it still would’ve been accurate. The press and the courtiers are stalking Meghan, constantly looking for some new asinine story, something they can complain about. Maybe the person being quoted didn’t even mean deer stalking. Maybe they did just mean Meghan stalking. I’m picturing a bunch of courtiers and undersecretaries to the Queen and Prince Philip all dressed up in their tweedy hunting gear, with binoculars and long lens cameras, stalking around the estate; trying to catch Meghan something horrific like holding her baby “wrong” or stirring her tea anti-clockwise.

  12. leena says:

    Just to mention – they have to cull deer in Scotland because in some areas there get to be more deer than there is food for them, due to no predators (except humans of course!) now the bears and wolves have gone.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @leena, the same thing, “culling the heard”, has to be done in Kentucky, USA for the exact same reasons.

    • Nadira says:

      I beg to differ: if there isn’t enough food then that would limit the deer, too.
      In my country they come up with these arguments as well: we have to hunt because we have to do population control.
      The truth is that the hunters do illegally feed deer and wild boar in order to be able to shoot more.

      Grouse shooting: the grouse is specially bred and then “freed” and then shot. That is indeed disgusting.

      • leena says:

        Nadira – sorry but I do know what I am talking about on the deer issue – if some of the animals weren’t culled they would starve. Would you rather they died a quick death by a bullet or a slow death from starvation?

        Regarding grouse being bred, many are sent down to London restaurants for eating, just like cattle are bred for eating.

      • oddly says:

        Grouse breeding is actually very important to the survival of wild grouse in GB, ironic I know. If the estates didn’t keep large areas as wilderness for grouse breeding as commercial game and sport then there would be no point in keeping it wildreness it would be turned into farmland or dairy or sheep/goat herds or even housing and holiday cottages. So the grouse/pheasant commerce actually keeps them alive in an odd way.

        The land is managed and predators such as foxes and badgers are kept low by the wardens/gillies , birds of prey are managed by encouraging some species that keep other species away, so the birds can reproduce in relative peace, if the weather is very bad they will leave food out for them as well.

  13. Nadira says:

    Did they not want her there? Because they don’t just shoot animals: they bond and they talk and they make plans there, too. And Meghan isn’t part of that now?

  14. Rogue says:

    Of course people may not like her for reasons not due to race. I find all royals off putting when I hear them speak and found her cloying at times in the engagement interview. She comes across as quite earnest which speaking generally I’m sure some Brits will roll their eyes at cos Brits tend to be more cynical.

    With the duchess difficult rumours I could definitely see culture clash issues with courtiers being hyped up by the tabloids with a dash of angry black woman added in. My friends from abroad and especially US are way more direct about asking for what they want than me, which I can imagine people seeing as abrupt especially if coming from a WOC. Plus they always complain about customer service in the Uk which I think is more relaxed and perhaps less helpful than they are used to in eg US and where there’s a bigger tip culture.

    Anybody Harry ended up with would get harsher press than Kate- think press are usually kinder to the heir and spouse than the spare. Some royal commentators are Cressida and Chelsy stans but they still got nasty nicknames etc when dating Harry. Chelsy training as a lawyer seemed to be portrayed way more as a party girl then Kate who was partying just as hard if not more (no judgement they were young women entitled to have fun) and doubt was working as much.

    There are lots of factors around Meghan that will lend to even harsher reactions. Eg her family being utter trash and bashing her will make people suspicious of her and add to “trashy American ruining the “classy” Royal family “ (as if the Windsors are any better than the Markles!). Also climate we are in UK eg she’s an immigrant when UK has been inundated with inflammatory anti immigrant stories in recent years.

    But I still think race is key element for many but of course nobody is going to say that upfront. The reaction with Meghan is very typical of what happens when a black/mixed race person enters an elite all white space for the first time. But it’s easier to justify negativity based on whatever crap the tabloids make up such as she’s breaking royal protocol etc than owning your prejudice, even though average person as opposed to a royalist probably never cared much about protocol before. It doesn’t help that press have driven narrative that she doesn’t “belong”.

    In terms of assimilating people need to give the girl a break- it’s just been just over a year since she married in and she’s done a lot in that time. She does wear UK designers and I hope she will wear more unknown ones-easy symbolic embrace of the UK. But at same time she would be accused of being fake or abandoning her heritage if she was extra with it. Remember all the articles about her “adopting an English accent” or piers and others saying that she should have given Archie an “African American” name. It’s truly set up that she can’t win. Plus after antics in last few days I no longer have time for “optics”.

    Re the vegan thing another example of why the UK press has no credibility with me when it comes to Meghan. Even “credible” papers like the Times had Roya saying she is vegan despite evidence from her interviews, blog, instagram (including pics uk media have published of her with turkey etc!) and her cooking segments showing otherwise. They have loads of proof of who Meghan is but wilfully make up their own version. The “2 kids max” quote from Harry has also been spun into “2 kids to save the environment” and has been repeated everywhere even by credible media , showing a lot of media aren’t doing basic fact checking or just making up their own facts to push a narrative.

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