Prince William took 7-year-old Prince George grouse hunting at Balmoral

Princess Charlotte is spotted on her first day of School in London!

I was so moved by the symbolism of Prince Harry and Meghan’s volunteer work on the 23rd anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing. They were with preschool aged children, Diana worked at a preschool. They planted flowers and vegetables and sang and danced and played with the kids. Harry brought seeds for forget-me-nots, his mother’s favorite. The entire visit was something his mother would have loved, and something designed by Harry to remember his mother.

Meanwhile, Prince William is in Balmoral. He and Harry were in Balmoral 23 years ago when Charles had to wake them up to tell them their mother died. Charles and the Queen kept Harry and William in Balmoral for days, barely allowing them to speak about Diana or mourn her. I would think Balmoral would be such an awful association, and I would have thought that William would do anything to avoid being in Balmoral on August 31st of any year. But that’s where he took his family. And they were probably hunting on the anniversary.

Prince George has been immersed in a key royal family tradition — the annual grouse shoot that takes place at his great grandmother’s Scottish estate. The young royal was taken by dad Prince William and mom Kate Middleton on the game bird shoot with other members of the extended royal family towards the end of their annual summer break at Queen Elizabeth’s 52,000-acre estate at Balmoral Castle.

George, 7, watched the adults take part in the shoot on the 7,000-acre grouse moor at Corgarff — about 10 miles from the castle. They were joined by Princess Anne and her husband Tim Laurence, Prince Edward, and his son Viscount Severn and Peter Phillips.

Kate loves the royal country life — and that includes an enthusiasm for hunting. She reportedly took George on his first grouse-hunting expedition during a visit to Balmoral Castle in 2018. George’s siblings Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, were not on the outing.

Queen Elizabeth, 94, who is on her summer break at Balmoral Castle, has been welcoming family members to the estate in recent weeks.

[From People]

I believe William and Kate arrived at Balmoral late last week, which doesn’t really explain why they went completely dark throughout the month of August. I kind of suspect that they did manage to go on a “holiday” somewhere and they were able to keep in quiet. As for the hunting at Balmoral… I mean, William went hunting just after his mother died. Maybe that’s his way of marking the day. I find it… not as moving and symbolic as Harry’s activities. I’m not even saying that as some avid anti-hunting person, I’m not like that at all. People hunt, they teach their kids to hunt, I get that. But I do think George is too young and I just think… I don’t know, maybe it was the wrong look, in general?

Update: William can mourn however he likes. I just think the optics of killing animals on the anniversary of his mom’s death is bad optics, and clearly William thinks so too, because the photos of the family hunting disappeared pretty quickly.

william kids

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, Kensington Palace.

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154 Responses to “Prince William took 7-year-old Prince George grouse hunting at Balmoral”

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  1. Lex says:

    Wooòaaah when did William’s hair get like that?! Haven’t seen a side view in a while. It’s going white?? Or just majorly thinning?

    • Becks1 says:

      So, its either thinning or he is keeping it cut super close to his head, and it did happen pretty fast – I look back at pictures even from two years ago and it didn’t look like that. BUT, in the picture with Kate and the kids going to school, the sunlight is falling across his head to make it look super thin/pale. (you can see the light across Kate’s face too.)

      • Noki says:

        Prince William and Justin Timberlake have had one of the moat tragic and rapid decline in looks I have ever seen. JT looks like a different person.

      • Myra says:

        There was a time he made a really big deal about cutting his hair and it was basically just like the photo above – cutting super close to the head. Some men can really pull of the bald head look but I don’t think he has the face for it.

    • yinyang says:

      Its the sun

  2. Emily says:

    I think Will is a jerk, but he doesn’t owe us anything for Diana’s anniversary. He owes the public more work in general, but I think he should follow whatever grieving process he needs to go through on the anniversary of his mother’s death. For Harry a big symbolic gesture might have made him feel better, but it’s okay that Will preferred to spend that time privately.

    • sunny says:

      Yes to all of this. Hope he passed the day in a manner that brought him peace.

    • GG says:

      I don’t think William or Harry have any obligation to anyone other than themselves for how they choose to Mark the anniversary of their mother’s passing. Neither brother should be expected to perform their grief for the public to the public’s satisfaction. People work through grief differently, and whether or not one or both choose to spend the anniversary of Diana’s death in private or in public, that’s is their call to make.

    • L84Tea says:

      I have to agree. I am not a fan of William at all, but he can do whatever he likes on 8/31 and I’m not going to question or judge it. I lost my mother very unexpectedly when I was only 16, and it left a huge scar on my life, and my family has never fully recovered from it. That was 25 years ago and it still hurts badly. Some years when the day comes, I like to think of her and cook something she liked, and some years I really don’t want to think about it at all and just want to carry on with my day because it’s too painful to deal with. Whether William wants to do hunt, do cartwheels in a field, or sit alone in a room and stare at the walls all day, good for him.

    • WigletWatcher says:

      As the future king shouldn’t he mourn as he pleases privately while still being aware he must do something publicly?
      That he and his people chose to showcase that was bad for numerous reasons and can’t be defended in the same way private mourning can imo. we all have our jobs.

      • A says:

        Why would someone -owe- anyone else a public display of grief? It’s been 23 years since she died and people are still acting like they should have a say in how her own flipping sons remember her. Unreal.

      • WigletWatcher says:

        The grief can and should imo be private. The celebration of her life is what I meant to be public. She is not just his mother. She is a figure of power still that is used to his pr image benefit. Visiting her garden and past memorials were all classified as work. As the public figure he is how is this suddenly a bridge too far? It never was before.

      • Becks1 says:

        While I see what you are saying WW, I don’t think they are obligated to do something public every year. They participated in the documentary for the 20th anniversary of her death, and commemorated the garden in her honor, and I think in the documentary they both said it would probably be the last time they spoke about her publicly like that.

        Everyone here knows how I feel about William, but I don’t need to see him honoring his mother’s death every year.

    • MissMarierose says:

      Yes, I agree with this completely. The problem wasn’t that the boys were kept at Balmoral after Diana died. It’s that they were forced to go back to London to stoically perform their grief for the masses.

      I’ll never forget the sight of them being made to dress up in suits and walk outside the palace gates to shake hands with perfect strangers laying flowers for their mother. Then being made to walk behind her coffin.

      As little boys, they were told how they were supposed to grieve for their mother. As men, we should finally allow them the right we all have to grieve in our own way – in private.

      • kerwood says:

        Very well said. It was disgusting to see those poor boys forced to go out and look at the flowers and be groped and grabbed at by the ‘mourners’ outside. The walk behind the casket was basically child abuse that was forced on them by the prime minister at the time as a political move.

        I don’t care for William at all, but his grief over his mother’s death is his own business.

      • El says:

        @kerwood
        That’s not the first time I hear someone say that, can you explain why? Walking behind the coffin of a public beloved figure is actually quite common for funerals, at least in Europe. Not sure about kids, but royal kids aren’t just kids. Why can’t it be a tribute, why is it child abuse? If they grew up thinking this was how you paid the last respects, they could have very well wanted to do that for their mother, hard as it was, I’m sure.

      • paddingtonjr says:

        ITA. As kids they had to take on the public’s grief instead of grieving in private. They have done the public memorial since with the Concert for Diana and will do it again next year with the unveiling of her statue. Let the H&W deal with the anniversary how they want. There are another 364 days in the year to criticize William.

      • MargaritasForBreakfast says:

        I don’t get why “Bring made to walk behind Diana’s” coffin is universally lambasted as a bad thing? I walked behind my mother’s coffin holding my father’s hand although I was not as young as Harry. Aren’t funeral processions a normal thing?

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        @El, I can’t speak for Kerwood. My personal take is that royal kids are, fundamentally “just kids” & should be treated as such. William was the heir, but he was also a child. He & Harry should still have been treated as the children that they were. “Walking behind the coffin of a beloved figure” might be expected of adult royals undertaking official duties. Asking any child to walk behind their own mother’s coffin (while thronged by crowds of strangers & reporters) after her horrific, shocking death is inexcusable. It would traumatize any child, as it clearly did both of those boys. That display was neither normal, nor should it be normalized.

    • Jules says:

      Agree. There is a lot of projecting in this post.

    • Tessa says:

      I think it will be low key until the landmark 25th anniversary, with a possible concert or other tribute event.

    • Lizzie says:

      I guess if he wants to publically ignore the anniversary of his mothers death it’s up to him. Kudo’s to Harry for doing something meaningful.

      • Jolie says:

        Rather harsh Lizzie, we don’t all want to make annual public displays. We each grieve in our own way.

      • Nic919 says:

        Publicly promoting the murder of animals is a pretty odd way to grieve and even William got the photos pulled down because he knew it looked off. There was no need for an article with a jovial “7 year old George is watching his dad kill birds! Royal tradition! So cool!”

        But keep bootlicking a man who has no idea you exist.

    • Maevo says:

      I agree. I’m no Will fan but the way someone marks a loved ones death is so personal. Maybe he doesn’t like to mark the day and prefers to celebrate her on her birthday etc. Also I think he has a more fraught relationship with his mother’s memory than Harry does. He’s seems to not have rose colored glasses when it comes to Diana (which is understandable).

      • Tessa says:

        Perhaps Diana and Charles saw William too much through rose colored glasses. I think he got very spoiled and cosseted. I think he is high maintenance and thinks he’s low maintenance.

      • Maevo says:

        True! I think he’s controlling and selfish but thinks he’s down to earth and normal. But then again how could you not be f*cked up when you’ve been told your whole life you’re a special chosen one destined for the throne.

  3. SJR says:

    The loss of their Mom when they were so young is still a tragedy.
    It is for everyone who loses a parent so young.

    Not gonna speak on how they choose to recall Diana.

  4. S808 says:

    Eh, if that’s how he wants to spend that horrible day then that’s his right. I do think 7 is too young to be hunting but I’m not a parent and I don’t like hunting so I’m probably very biased.

    • Sarah says:

      Same here, I don’t think any child needs to be show that killing things is sport/fun/competitive and from reading the quotes it sounds like Kate took him in 2018 when he was five. Pretty sure that would just have traumatised me at that age.

      • Aang says:

        I’m guessing the birds are eaten? Does anyone know for sure? If they are I have absolutely no problem with it. I think it’s worse for kids to grow up thinking meat just appears on the plate. As someone exposed to hunting from my earliest memories I think it gave me an appreciation for what I was eating. I understood it had been alive a short while ago and we always thanked the animal for its sacrifice.

      • Becks1 says:

        I don’t think they are eaten, there are too many of them. My guess is they used to be, but probably aren’t at this point in time.

      • Jellybean says:

        Kids are actually pretty robust. I am not a hunter, but I think educating children about the food chain is a good thing. Some kids have no idea where their food comes from and I think ignorance leads to poor standards and animal welfare issues. Maybe some kids who see an animal killed will become vegetarians. Maybe some will decide that they will only eat animals which have lived well and died humanely. To me those are both good outcomes.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The birds are bred specifically to be over weight and poor flyers. No they are not eaten, as they are completely filled with buckshot.

      • Jellybean says:

        Yes, grouse are eaten. Apparently they are much higher in protein than chicken and much lower in fat. Most of the birds shot will be sold to restaurants and it is actually a big industry in Scotland. If I remember correctly the season starts on the 12th August and it is a big thing to be the first restaurant in London to serve Grouse.

      • Jellybean says:

        I have eaten wild grouse, pheasant and rabbit. You always have to be a bit careful about the buckshot and pellets.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        ” I think it’s worse for kids to grow up thinking meat just appears on the plate. ” @Aang: so much THIS!

        I grew up on a farm and went hunting with my dad at a young age as well and it taught me to respect animals and made me fully aware that the food on the plate once had eyes. This also played a key role in becoming a vegetarian – which I am until today.

      • Sofia says:

        @Aang and @Elisa: I think you’re giving William too much credit. Grouse shooting is a game for the upper classes. They openly brag about how many they can kill and go to estates that are used simply for grouse shooting – some of which are 1000s of acres. It’s a game and a sport for these people. I doubt William was taking George to see where his food comes from but to simply teach him that this is a sport that people of his class and age are learning to partake in.

      • Tessa says:

        I think it might be overwhelming for a 7 year old. I think parents would get nervous about a child perhaps running around while shooting is going on. He also may have been upset at it.

      • KidV says:

        I used to go quail hunting with my dad at that age. Not only do you learn how food gets to the table, you learn very important gun safety. You also learn to pick out the buckshot before putting it in your mouth, and that your mom really has no idea how to cook quail.

  5. Becks1 says:

    So, I’m not into hunting, at all, besides as a necessity, and I’m not sure this grouse hunt counts as that.

    But if I put that aside – I will say that I think William and Harry have always processed their mother’s death very differently, and I cant really fault William for how he may have chosen to spend the day.

    I did laugh at the line about Kate “loving the royal country life.” We know that, since its so hard to get her out of the country to do….anything.

    • Nic919 says:

      The new Cambstan defence for the grouse shooting is that it’s population control. Sorry no that’s bullshit. And bringing a child to a hunt is just dumb. White trash families from the south get made fun of for their carelessness around guns and bringing a child to a made up hunt where the adults have the birds basically tossed in front of them is also trash. The royals need to be criticized for this dumb and destructive hobby as much as anyone else. And if William is going to be about conservation then participating in this nonsense is hypocritical.

      • OriginalLala says:

        The royals are such hypocrites about conservation – it’s not like their hunting is subsistence hunting, they literally kill hundreds of animals in one shooting day for funsies. It’s obscene and gross.

      • Ginger says:

        Some stans were staying they were going to eat what they shot. I have a hard time believe that.

      • Nic919 says:

        They have no clue was grouse shooting is about. Basically hundreds of birds are forced to where the shooters are standing and hundreds of birds end up killed. No one is eating all those birds. Plus if they are using shot guns the chances the birds are any good to eat when that many shooters are discharging at the same time are slim.

      • Jen says:

        It’s population control when the grouses are literally raised to be basically thrown in front of them so they can feel like they succeeded at something in life other than being born? Their stans will really reach, won’t they.

        I really don’t care how William chose to mark the day as it is his right to do what he wants, but I do think 7 is too young to go hunting. But since he apparently also went at age 5, I’m surprised Charlotte didn’t go this year.

      • windyriver says:

        The issue is not just that the grouse are being shot, it’s also the amount of other wildlife that are killed (and how they’re killed, including cruel traps) to “protect” the grouse so there’s plenty for the season. On a trip to Scotland in early August last year I saw large brown sections scattered through part of the landscape; apparently this was areas of heather burned for better grouse habitat.

        https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/scotlands-grouse-shooting-estates-are-waging-war-wildlife-must-stop-robbie-marsland-2957472

        https://theecologist.org/2019/nov/13/wildlife-killings-scotlands-grouse-moors

        Anyone who is part of this has no business talking about conservation.

      • Jolie says:

        @ Nic “White trash families from the south get made fun of for their carelessness around guns”

        Any evidence of this? IE how many accidents in the UK through carelessness around guns.

      • Nic919 says:

        Seriously this is what you critique? There are gun accidents in every country so just because the royals haven’t shot each other doesn’t mean that it isn’t irresponsible to bring young kids into the mix and condition them to kill living beings as if it’s not a cruel thing to do. But keep bootlicking the royals. They don’t give a shit about your existence either way.

      • yinyang says:

        @NIc919 I’m with you. This doesn’t sit well with me, in this era I think we should focus on killing less animals for consumption and sport. I know if I took my children they wouldn’t allow me to shoot one ever.

      • Isabella says:

        I knew nothing about grouse shooting until I saw this photo of Pippa Middleton and her friends standing over 50 dead birds in Scotland. I was stunned.
        https://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/434998/Pippa-Middleton-goes-all-autumnal-as-she-arrives-back-from-hunting-trip-in-Scotland

    • TrixC says:

      Yeah, grouse hunting is a completely different type of pursuit to the sort of hunting many readers of this website will be familiar with. I don’t like hunting but I have family and friends who do, they mainly do it to enjoy being in the outdoors, and also to feed their families. They like the skill and challenge and the sense of self-sufficiency that comes with hunting wild animals for food.

      Grouse shooting is quite different to this. There are huge estates which are managed exclusively for grouse shooting. Although they’re a native species the ones that are shot are not wild animals. They’re bred up and released in great numbers, purely for rich people to come and shoot. The land needs to be managed intensively so that it is optimal for grouse and wild animals or birds that might prey on the grouse are killed. Sometimes the grouse are eaten, but that is by no means the point of the activity. Grouse shooting is quite controversial these days and there have been petitions to Parliament to ban it, mainly on conservation grounds.

      • Shannon Bullock says:

        This is how pheasant hunting works in much of the U.S. at this point as well. The wild pheasant population is lower than demand for hunting so the pheasants are farmed and released on hunting land at the start of the season.
        The farmed pheasants have no sense of self-preservartion so it isn’t much of a challenge. Those that are lucky enough to live through hunting season and predation from other animals are few and far between.
        I grew up in a hunting family but I don’t really see the point of shooting animals that are so unequipped to escape from humans. I’ve switched to photography instead – the birds just stand around and let me get close enough to take good pictures. And then I shoo them into the prairie grass to hide from the hunters.

        I will say in the case of pheasants that they don’t go to waste, we do eat them.

      • TeamAwesome says:

        I used to live across from a farm that bred birds for hunting parties. We occasionally would have escapees who made it across the road to us. There is no sport in killing something that has been raised just for you to shoot at.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        Yes, I’m creeped out by this too. I grew up in a ranching area, I eat meat, and I don’t have an issue with people who hunt skillfully and humanely and eat their kills, but that’s not what this is about. I also have a 5-y.o. who already won’t eat poultry because he likes birds. (I explained we wouldn’t raise all these chickens if people didn’t eat them! He is not swayed!) If I took him to a grouse hunt, I think he would be incredibly traumatized and our relationship ruptured in a way difficult to repair… well, ever. I don’t understand what these people are doing.

  6. Noki says:

    They were not allowed to mourn her? Is that another Royal thing to be stern and not show any emotions? I always wonder how these little boys didnt break down behind the casket,maybe they drilled into them to remain subdued or even received a sedative.

    • Becks1 says:

      The stories about it are murky but I do think the Queen was coming from the right place re: her grandsons, and just didn’t know how to do it. She was trying to protect them from the public to give them space, but she really bungled the whole thing, at least for her own part in it. She didn’t want Charles to go to Paris to bring Diana’s body back. They went to church the morning the Sunday she died, and the boys knew about the death – the minister was told not to talk about it, so didn’t, but afterwards apparently Harry asked if she was really dead, because why didn’t they pray for her or something like that.

      I think Harry was the one who said in an interview that he didn’t really process her death for years, until he started therapy.

      I also imagine it would be hard to mourn your beloved mother while completely ensconced in a family that treated her the way they did.

      • Ainsley7 says:

        The Church of Scotland specifically doesn’t do the prayers for the dead the way the Church of England does. A lot of things were misreported at the time because the press wanted access they couldn’t get while the family was at Balmoral. So, the press created a whole narrative about the Queen not caring. If they had reported the truth, that the family wanted the boys to be able to mourn in private, the public would have been more understanding. The boys never should have been forced back to London and definitely shouldn’t have been forced out in order to give the press the story they wanted.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m not part of the church of England, so have no clue what their prayers are.

        I also specifically said in my post “I think the queen was coming from the right place re: her grandsons….she was trying to protect them from the public” – but again like I said, she bungled her own part in it.

        I never said the boys should not have been allowed to mourn in private etc.

      • Tessa says:

        Rules can be set aside so there would have been prayers at the service for Diana. The boys were raw with emotion and shock and I think it would be of some comfort. At wakes, prayers are said to comfort the mourners.

      • Carolind says:

        Kate was also with William and George on last week’s shoot.

        Going back to Diana’s death, the boys apparently asked to go to Church on the morning of their mother’s death. I am Church of Scotland and although we may not pray for the dead we do pray for family and friends of the dead.

        I don’t think the Queen handled Diana’s death well but for the life of me I cannot see the benefits of all of them going down to London right away. In Scotland the boys were away from the shoals of people mourning their mother. They had space. Their Philips cousins were there and Tiggy whatsername. The Queen was also head of state as much in Scotland as in London.

        I have read and believe that the press deliberately tried to turn the public against the RF because at the beginning the public were gunning for the press because what are paps but extreme press.

        Diana last phoned Balmoral early on the Saturday evening to speak to William and Harry. She had only short conversations with each as they had not really wanted to talk with her as they were with their Philips cousins.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I think both boys were just deeply traumatized and/or in shock at being forced to walk behind their mother’s coffin in front of the entire world. Harry just looked so small & lost. William said years later that he kept his head down, trying to make his hair fall in his face to hide from everything. If you look at the pictures, that’s exactly what he was doing. No child should experience that.

      I’m glad to see commenters saying William should be allowed to spend the anniversary of Diana’s death however he chooses. William & Harry didn’t get a choice when she died. At the very least, they should be allowed to spend the anniversary of her death how they each see fit.

      • kerwood says:

        I remember William keeping his head down. I’ve always thought that he didn’t want anyone to see his grief and he didn’t want to give the reporters (who he believes kills his mother) a ‘good shot of grieving William’.

        I can’t imagine being forced to walk behind your mother’s casket. Especially when it wasn’t their choice. That’s on the politicians AND the British people (who basically lost their minds over Diana’s death).

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      The family wanted to protect the boys but the rabid media whipped up such a storm that pretty much backed them into a corner – the public felt that their grief was greater than that of 2 young boys who had just lost their mother in a horrific way. The RF had no choice but to put those 2 grieving young boys out there for public consumption – it was that bad. I remember the press headlines and the public feeling that was being whipped up. If Harry and William had not been at the funeral the press would have ripped them all apart.

      It was a traumatic event made worse by the media coverage and public frenzy that was created – coverage that likely added to H&W’s trauma.

      • Tessa says:

        They should have been at the funeral. If they had been prevented, they would have regretted it for the rest of their lives and a funeral honors the deceased. What was wrong was taking the boys who found out they lost their mother, the next morning, to CHurch and NO mention of their mother or prayers for her were in the service. Talk about coldhearted by the RF. It was not just the press that would have complained, it would have caused resentment in the boys about their not going. It’s not like they were infants or toddlers.

    • Nyro says:

      Everyone gives the queen way too much grace. She was wrong, wrong, wrong. She wasn’t protecting those boys. She was stifling them because she didn’t want to be bothered with their grief or anyone else’s grief for that matter. Lord knows she can’t be uncomfortable, not for a an a minute, to hell with what’s actually happening. And those two kids were out out there to walk behind their dead mother’s body because they were being used as a shield to protect queen and crown from having to face the wrath of that crowd. They were a distraction and a shield. The people weren’t demanding to see that.

      • Carolind says:

        You are totally wrong about the Queen regarding the boys. She was wrong about many aspects of Diana’s death but she was genuinely concerned about the boys who were much, much better of in the privacy of Balmoral and its many acres. They were able to get out and be with other family

        Don’t forget the actions of the toxic press in this. They were being blamed for Diana’s death. What are paps after all? They deliberately made an issue of the Quern staying at Balmoral to deflect the blame from themselves. Don’t forget either that the Spencers banned all of the tabloid press from Westminster Abbey for Diana’s funeral.

    • HeyJude says:

      I think it was pure shock when they were walking behind the casket and nothing else.

      They were grieving and then thrust in front of all those crowds which had to be disorienting.

      Harry in particular just looked totally stunned, which makes sense because he was so young. William seemed to have to stifle himself a few times to keep from crying in front of the crowd (which I imagine he didn’t want to do as a teen being so keen to be a “grown up”) and kept looking down to get through it but also just had a shocked thousand yard stare like a soldier does.

  7. OriginalLala says:

    Not a fan of William, or hunting, but I’m not going to judge how he chooses to grieve and remember his mom.

  8. Chickaletta says:

    Maybe he doesn’t want to spend the anniversary of a horrible day dwelling on that horror? He just wanted to do something else and not think about it, I could see that.

  9. Sofia says:

    I’ll grill William for a lot of things but how he chooses to mourn his mother is not one of those things. It’s up to him and Harry to decide how they grieve her. If William wants to do it through hunting, then so be it.

    As for the actual activity, the Cambridges always try to portray themselves as a normal middle class country loving family yet they continue to engage in this very elitist activity that only the upper classes do. This isn’t related to Diana or the day he did it on. I would have the exact same comment if he did it 2 weeks later.

  10. Bunny says:

    Don’t like William one bit, but how he mourns, or even if he mourns, is his business. He owes us nothing in that regard.

    He and Harry (and everyone else) have no responsibility to show the world anything at all about their inner life (if they have one).

    Hunting: I hunt, and began teach my children the important of safety very early on. Seven isn’t too young to teach safety and to begin to learn proper form. Good habits are easier to teach correctly from a young age, versus correcting bad/dangerous habits later. As an example, “keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot” is a good/safe habit.

    I personally think that seven is too young to safely and actively hunt large game, but don’t bird hunt so I don’t know…

  11. LW says:

    People can dislike him for other reasons, but he can remember/mourn/celebrate his mother how he chooses. Grief is individual and not to be judged.

  12. Erica says:

    Everyone grieves differently. My step-dad died 8 years ago. I don’t grieve the way others in my family do. I ignore the day. Grief hits me on random days, not so much on ‘anniversaries’.

  13. AMM says:

    I’m not gonna hate on William for how he mourns his mother. I didn’t know he went hunting after his mom died, so maybe that’s his thing now and how he processes.

    But I do not understand hunting for sport. I do not understand hunting with small children that will not grow up needing to hunt for survival or to eat. It just seems like killing to me, and I don’t think children need to be exposed to that. Surely there are other aristo hobby’s they can do together.

  14. Angela says:

    I have been hunting since I have been five it’s incredibly normal to do so at a young age it’s a bonding event with ones parent or parents if you chose to just as if you don’t like killing animals that’s okay as well

    I will say everyone mourning is different my dad died on father’s days which is always either mine or my brothers bday or the day before or after and I wear his flannel shirts and cry for three days and my brother goes fishing( my dad never fished) it just his way to get through those days. Maybe harry is okay with or wants to share his grief with others because he knows how much his mother meant to everyone and William would rather just bond with his children through an activity to get through the day . Both are perfectly fine

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Grouse hunting is a “key royal tradition”? Must be right up there with “posing by the gold piano” and “interfering with Brexit.” That’s such a weird thing to write, or even think.

    The white privilege party of the British monarchy is SUCH a useless anachronism.

    • Nyro says:

      I just read that Prince Phillip would strive to meet a goal of 10,000 kills every summer at Balmoral. Absolutely disgusting. I’m not against hunting if it’s an actual challenge and if the animal is eaten. But those birds are literally bred for that family to be killed and with no skill or challenge involved at all. It’s just wrong.

      • February-Pisces says:

        Prince Phillip gives me psycho vibes and I think Willie is leaning toward being the same. They seem to get a hell of a lot of pleasure from these blood sports, so it creeps me out, especially as a lot of serial killers started off hurting animals because they got pleasure from it.

        Wasn’t there a rumour that Willie shot a cat?

    • Tessa says:

      There is a photo of Philip some decades ago with dead tigers at his feet that he shot. THey were not thought to be ‘endangered’ then but they are endangered now. William and Charles went foxhunting and foxes are inedible and can’t be used. A torture for the foxes. Thankfully foxhunting is outlawed now.

  16. Marjorie says:

    Hm. Where’s Waity? She hasn’t been around for a while, even for a helicoptered-in fake photo op.

  17. Annie .. says:

    The photos that “disappeared” were from 2008

  18. Nancy says:

    I’m confused – were there photos, initially?

  19. FHMom says:

    That picture on the swing is so adorable. William can mourn however he wants. I don’t get the joy of hunting, but it’s traditional, and little George will be king one day. If I’ve learned anything from Midsomer Murders, it’s that the British upper class love their hunts.

  20. JT says:

    I don’t think it matters whether the photos were new or old, KP clearly had a problem with them or else they would still be on the site. There were also many negative comments on the DM about the hunt. Why was only George there? Are the hunts only for the boys?

    • Nancy says:

      I think it matters if there were photos of George being pulled. Did they exist in the first place? Or were older (pre-children) photos being referenced? If so, those are easily searchable.

      • JT says:

        I think they were older photos that were already published. So W&K were fine with the photos a few years ago, but now they are unhappy with them. The press only publish photos of the kids with W&K blessing, which leaves me to believe they removed the photos because they were getting dragged in the comments.

    • Tessa says:

      I recall Kate’s parents were seen shooting animals with the royals a few years ago.

      • Nic919 says:

        They arranged a pheasant day shoot on Boxing Day for William because he wasn’t at Sandringham that year. Instead of having their own traditions Carole made sure to placate billy with his need to kill things that don’t stand a chance. It’s pretty sad that the desperate social climbers decide to emulate one of the worst hobbies of the elite just to try to fit in. The fur hats in temperate England are another feature of this sad attempt to seem elite.

  21. Nic919 says:

    The way Becky English wrote this story (and whoever carried this for People) is an example of how the RR are sycophantic fools. William can mourn how he wants and he can go hunting, but he didn’t need to make it an article and then make it look like George is having a grand ole time watching birds get shot. And the photos being pulled suggests that William in fact didn’t like the article which is why I think this was a Kate or Carole special because of all the “Kate loves the country life” nonsense.

  22. BnLurkN4eva says:

    William can do whatever he like.

    I feel that he’s sold out and tarnished his mother’s legacy by teaming up with the press that chased his mother to her death and being part of a smear campaign to drive his brother and family out of the country, so his actions re: Diana are meaningless.

    • Nyro says:

      He’s all Windsor. I’ve noticed over the years just from interviews that he’s given, that he thinks his mother was more often wrong about how she went about her role in that family. I think that he sees her as a silly hyper-emotional problem just like his grandmother saw her. I think he loves his mother but I don’t see him being on her side at all. He and Harry talk about her in completely different ways and it’s always been noticeable to me.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        I agree. He identifies with the Monarch because he is set to be one and behaves like one, see his treatment of his brother and family. From my cheap seat, I think he loves Diana the way Thomas Markle loves Meghan.

      • Person3514 says:

        Wow, maybe let’s not speculate about how he loved his mother. Will and Harry had different relationships with Diana. I’ve never heard stories of her confiding in Harry, and she was a very emotional person. I’m sure Will has a lot of unresolved emotions about his mother and being her son in the huge shadow she cast. I mean, she threw herself down the stairs while pregnant with him. He probably has days where he madly loves and misses her, and he probably has days where he’s bitter and angry towards her. Diana has been idolized and sainted since her death, and I’m sure that messes with both of the boys minds as well.

      • Tessa says:

        Diana tripped over a few steps she did not “throw herself down stairs”. If she had she would have had to have been hospitalized. William also has issues with his father, who used him in PR to promote Camilla and admitted publicly he never loved Diana. I think DIana’s “overconfiding” was exaggerated by Charles’ camp. William was in school for much of the time. Diana explained things to him because he would be aware of the media. After Charles confessed he never loved her, she told the boys that Charles did love her but they could not live together anymore. Things like that. I don’t see why he’d bitter and angry with his deceased mother. Maybe some guilt because he did pull some stunts on her too like barring his parents from the Eton picnic. He was allowed to be a brat a bit too much. I think that’s the trouble. His father coddled him and even had to apologize for him. Diana did not confide in young Harry only in the most general terms like assuring him that she and “Papa” love each other. I don’t see DIana as a monster mother. Queen Mary was cold and remote to her children but Edward dutifully visited her in the UK after the abdication.

      • Tessa says:

        William lacks Diana’s warmth. However much he talks about her it does not come off as sincere. Harry inherited DIana’s warmth and humanity.

      • Tessa says:

        Could william not have approved of Diana because she “fussed” over Charles’ thinking he had a right to a mistress. Kate apparently looks the other way, and Wiliam quickly tried to stop the stories about Rose. Maybe he thinks women should put up and shut up.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        Person3514 I call them like I see them. I’m sure Thomas Markle love Meghan in some kind of way too. It doesn’t matter what his feelings are for her, they are his feelings. Facts remains, he has behaved to his brother in the same manner that those who made Diana’s life miserable behaved, so…

      • Tessa says:

        I agree. BnLurkNeva. William seems very cold and has a mean streak. I was horrified at his setting up that Flybe stunt. In the midst of Harry being trashed every day in the DM especially. Something very wrong. Which is why I am totally on Harry’s side. William also could have “advised” Harry about Meghan in an obnoxious way.

      • FridaKhaloLover says:

        I agree with this assessment too. While I can’t ever judge someone for how they deal with grief, as I’ve read elsewhere, don’t confuse a lack of expression with a lack of emotion, I certainly think William has a more detached, level opinion of his mum and Harry has idealised and defied her. In the documentary 20 years after her death, William said she gave him some final words, and when the interviewer asked if he remembered what they were, he smiled and said yes, but never hinted at what those words were. Harry said that during that same phone call, he had been in a rush to get off to go play with his cousins and barely remembers what was said. This stuck with me because, in a way, William had some closure or a fuller experience with her and I think Harry’s loss is more acute, and laced with guilt.

      • Jolie says:

        @ Tess – it never ceases to amaze me how much people know about something when they weren’t there!

      • Person3514 says:

        I don’t think Diana was a monster mother, but she had her issues. In the recordings for Andrew Morton’s book, Diana herself says she threw herself down the stairs to get Charles’s attention. Maybe she did only trip down a couple of stairs, but she did it on purpose. She said so herself. Diana was messy as hell before she died. She was a wonderful person that did amazing things, but she was human, not perfect.

  23. My3cents says:

    This is just wrong. Killing is not a sport or a game.
    The hypocrisy of these people advocating for wildlife and protecting the environment while killing and “hunting” for fun is just too much.

  24. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    Absolutely vile. Shooting hundreds of birds and decimating the local wildlife is absolutely vile. Even offering the gralloch prayer is vile, because it’s for the humans participating in the killing, not for the animals who don’t understand why they are being terrified before they are killed. Let’s never anthropomorphise animals or pretend that their death is a sacrifice or holy thing. Never.
    That being said, William can mourn in any way he likes. It’s not some performance for the royal reporters and the wider public: it’s his grief. Let him be.

    • Mina_Esq says:

      My mom’s uncles and brothers are all hunters, and they are all big animal lovers. They respect nature and worry about conservation. While hunting is a sport, it is organized in sensible ways that actually helps the local wildlife. For example, not controlling the numbers of one species may endanger the survival of another. That’s why there are different seasons and why you need a licence. I’m of course excluding trophy hunting from all of this. I’m disappointed that you’d label hunting as “vile”, as if they are out there shooting puppies. Wildlife is a whole different story. Animals aren’t out there having tea with one another in the forest.

      • AMM says:

        Destroying land/other wildlife and then breeding birds in that area with the sole intention of killing as many as you can For sport is vile. Hunting an adult deer with the intention of eating it is not vile.

      • Tessa says:

        The royals do not think, well I am being environmentally protective and maybe most of the birds will be eaten. The birds are shot from the sky and suffer while dying. This is for sport and who can bag the most game in one day. They even keep score.

      • Nic919 says:

        Hunting the way it is done by indigenous cultures is fine. It is done for sustenance and the entire animal is used. Grouse hunting is a white rich person’s way to hunt and it needlessly kills birds and affects the ecosystem purely for sport.
        My father also grew up on a farm and they were familiar with shot guns and occasionally certain animals were pests and needed to be shot. They did not however shoot up hundreds of birds for shits and giggles like what happens here.
        They could take up skeet shooting and it would be far less destructive on the environment and they could still target practice.

      • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

        @MinaEsq That’s not what I said, Mina. I’m protesting those who claim that they pray over the creatures they kill as if their killings are somehow a holy thing. Those who breed and fatten birds for an afternoon of mindless blasting away with a twelve bore in an effort to secure the largest bag.
        Disclaimer: I’m vegetarian, so I find the killing of all animals awful. I respect the way they live and interact with each other and, if they are able, nature, and never impose human emotions or perspectives on them.

    • Shannon Bullock says:

      The gralloch prayer is a holdover from pre-Christian pagan religious practices (Celtic animism) and it made a lot more sense in the historical context of that culture. In the pagan belief system, all animals and natural elements (like rivers and trees and weather) had a spirit that needed to be honored. If you killed an animal without paying respect to its spirit, you risked being attacked by the offended spirit instead of it peacefully transitioning into the spirit realm. The prayer was not directed at a monolithic God, but at the spirit itself if the animal was considered a divine messenger, or a local hunter-god associated with that type of animal.
      When Christianity arrived, most of these pagan rituals were co-opted to get the populace to go along with the new religion. For a while people had beliefs from both ideologies. A few generations into Christianity, this kind of prayer stopped making much sense because the belief in animal spirits largely receded. There are still pockets of Celtic cultures that maintain those beliefs, but the royal family definitely doesn’t count as one of those cultures.

  25. February-Pisces says:

    Whatever anyone chooses to do to help them grieve is up to them. But I don’t like the idea of a 7 year old going on a shoot killing birds. I know those who grow up shooting consider it to be so normal, i just can’t imagine what would go through a 7 year olds head when they are told it’s ok to kill an animal. I get that hunting is something that has to be done to cull the estate, doesn’t mean I have to like it or participate in it.

    I find it weird that kate gets praised for participating in these shoots. She was once called ‘quite the marksman’ around the same time Meghan was getting sh*t for supposedly stopping harry from hunting. Kate is supposed to be the ‘lovely, kind, caring one yet she runs round wielding a gun shooting baby animals, yet evil wicked witch Meghan was ‘controlling her man’ because of her love of animals?

    • Maria says:

      I totally agree. Hunting for a 7 year old must be traumatic.

    • Tessa says:

      George should have spent the day with his siblings instead of going out hunting with Daddy. It could have been a not so nice experience for him and probably wasn’t. Dad does it for fun and sports and does not have to live on those grouse.

    • Jolie says:

      I guess you have never watched the series on tv called Our Yorkshire Farm!

      • February-Pisces says:

        I’m from yorkshire, but I haven’t watched it.

      • Jolie says:

        It is a true story about a farming couple and their 9 (nine) children who live on an isolated Yorkshire farm. The youngest kids are under school age but the 4 year old already knows how to deliver a lamb and has watched a dead lamb being skinned and the coat being placed on another orphan lamb so its mother will suckle the orphan. She takes it all in her stride!!

        How many of us, when young, have watch films with people being shot and killed!

        Just a thought!

      • February-Pisces says:

        I think watching a film and seeing an animal die right in front of you are two very different things. I have never seen an animal die in front of me, but I imagine it would be quite upsetting, so I can’t imagine what a child would think. I also can’t imagine what they would think when it’s their own parents pulling the triggers.

        I think growing up on a farm is different because there’s the nurturing aspect with the animals, you are taking care of them from birth to death. Willie and Kate don’t take care of any animals, so all George is seeing is that the local wildlife is there for the kill, and he is being taught that killing is for sport and a for fun.

      • Nic919 says:

        Living on a farm and dealing with the life cycle of animals and watching it in tv are two different things. What a ridiculous comment. Until you see an animal have the life bleed out in front of you, you have no idea what it’s like.

    • February-Pisces says:

      I think the problem is that children tend to see things in black and white, so something is either right or wrong. When you tell a 7 year old it’s ok to shoot an animal dead, what’s to stop him thinking it’s ok to hurt other animals or family pets, or children? He’s not old enough to understand. But then again harry turned out alright.

      You have to have a certain level of detached empathy to do it. That’s what makes side eye Kate. People who grow up around hunting think it’s completely normal which is understandable, but what’s Kate’s excuse. People who don’t grown up with hunting will never understand it, but Kate seems to have no problem shooting animals. It kinda conflicts with her mother Theresa image.

    • Olenna says:

      IMO, it is irresponsible and hypocritical for Willie and/or Kate to introduce any of their young children to hunting if they don’t need to kill animals to put on their table. For months, people on SM and blogs have been calling for Archie to be physically taken from Meghan and given over to the royal family or even the government for mugxit lies about child endangerment, abuse, neglect and so on. Yet, these same people are avoiding commenting on DM, People Mag, etc. articles about Willie and George grouse hunting, or they’re are making excuses like, “Seeing as it isn’t trophy hunting nor shooting endangered animals…I see no issue”. Futher, Harry has been repeatedly labeled a hypocrite for everything good he tries to do, and there’s no shortage of people repeatedly posting old pics of him game hunting. In their twisted minds, the Keens can do wrong and the Sussexes can do no right. Disgusting.

      • Tessa says:

        I can only imagine the slamming of Harry if he takes Archie out hunting when he is 7. And then Meghan will be blamed for it. William has gone on hunting weekends and at least one of them he had missed some shifts on his Air Ambulance rescue team work. It is just unacceptable for those posters to accuse Meghan of child abuse, Those comments are defamatory and should be removed. The idea of the royals raising Archie is truly frightening.

  26. 809Matriarch says:

    I have an issue with certain hunting practices. My bf belongs to a hunting club. The men share costs of maintaining the hunting area. They plant green flora irresistible to deer. Then they hide in a shy & kill the hungry animals. Its more like booby trapping rather than “hunting”.

    • AMM says:

      I don’t like it either. If you wanna play at survivalist, then you need to hunt like one. Go into the wild and see what you can do. Dont give yourself easier odds than you already have being a human with a weapon.

    • Lady D says:

      It’s only a sport if both sides know the rules and are equally armed. Personally, I cheer when the animal gets the hunter, *depending on the hunter. I know it’s wrong and I know I’ll pay for it, but if you’re in it for the thrill of the kill and the animal gets you? That just means someone finally leveled the playing field. Do you know that grizzlies up north have evolved to the point they understand gun shots in the forest mean food is wandering their home? Ain’t evolution grand.
      *some have to hunt and I have no problem with that, same with fishing, but douche bros who want to pretend slaughter is fun? Game on.

  27. AnneliseR says:

    I’m not vegetarian, so if you’re a hunter who kills animals for food, I have nothing but respect. However, hunting animals just for the sake of killing them is gross and wasteful.

  28. Tessa says:

    James, Edward’s son was more of the right age. George turned 7 only recently I think he is too young. William go slammed in the DM comments sections but the bots came to the rescue and put in a lot of fawning comments.

  29. Merricat says:

    It makes sense to me that William, who was older when she died, would opt to spend the day insulated by royal tradition, while Harry, more openly vulnerable and younger, would mark it with thoughtfulness and poignancy. It is hard to lose a parent, no matter your age. I still feel sad for the boys they were.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I don’t particularly like the guy based on what he has done in the past few years, but Diana was his mother too and he grieves and misses her. I’m sure he resents how everyone seems to put Harry as her natural successor, but that is partly due to how he has shown himself to be. Whatever attributes in terms of personality or traits he got from his mother are too often overshadowed by the palace games he plays.

      • Tessa says:

        William if he wants to be Diana’s son and someone who carries forth her legacy, should think about how he has been behaving lately. The Flybe stunt was just gross.

  30. Catherine says:

    I think we can grant both Harry and William grace on this day. Going back to the place where he learned his mother was gone, forever, must have been tough. Planting forget me nots, remembering his mother in such detail, must have been tough. This day must be hard, every year. Grief never goes away, it breaks my heart to think about them both now and then.

  31. RoyalBlue says:

    Thank God Meghan got Harry to see the error of his ways with this cruel sport. I hope a grouse sneaks up and pecks Willileaks in the nuts.

  32. Carolind says:

    Regarding William and Harry and Diana I think William sticks up for Diana over his father and that Diana was closest to him. I remember reading a while back that Diana said when William and Harry were young that Harry was closer to Charles.

    Have any of you ever seen the famous photos of Diana (Charles was apparently right behind) running to greet the boys who were on a boat at the end of a few days away from them? The boys were side by side but it was William Diana was looking at and William she went to first although she could have scooped them both into her arms. That, for me, said it all. I think William and Charles are closer now but until a couple of years ago William would barely acknowledge Charles. It was all about his mother and the Queen. Harry was always much fairer.

    • Julia K. says:

      I had the same reaction when seeing that photo years ago! First time someone else said what I’ve been thinking.

      • Carolind says:

        Julia K.

        I am so glad someone else saw it!

        William was to have been Diana’s pot of gold. Her aim was always to get Charles bypassed in the succession so that the crown would go from Elizabeth 2 straight to William. Diana then saw herself as regent. Where her reckoning went wrong was with who actually died.. It was always William and Diana though. As for the succession Charles xmillion William.

        It makes me think though that Diana had maybe put some of this into William’s head.

    • Tessa says:

      I’m wondering how Charles tolerates all the spin that he should step aside for the “brilliant” Cambridges.

  33. L4frimaire says:

    This just is so uncomfortable to me. I don’t like the idea of young kids being around guns or killing animals , but then I live in the US where guns are too plentiful and cause so many tragedies and violence. I’m not against hunting per se, but definitely against trophy hunting. I not against hunting or people eating what they hunt but I couldn’t do it. I’ve never eaten wild game but might try it ( once saw elk on a menu but couldn’t go there). I think a lot of people on principle are against sport hunting in general so can see why some get upset by this. I get the impression that the Cambridge’s are going to lean in harder into older, more royal, even reactionary, traditions as they get on.

  34. Jaded says:

    As if…Willnot and Cannot couldn’t attract a Netflix deal if they paid for it themselves. Which they wouldn’t because they’re lazy and only spend tax-payer money. Troll.

  35. sarah1 says:

    My only thought is this: that obviously upon reflection, the hunting pictures were taken down, I guess along with commentary. Where was the reflection beforehand. Why not apply this reflection and judiciousness beforehand. Why not counsel William before he goes to Ireland and says something stupid about Covid that people ARE NOT going to forget. Are you telling me their Palace staff cannot be fired? Do they have a vault with things that they blackmail the royal family with so the royal family can’t fire stupid people and get someone with brains and experience to counsel them against stepping on all the wrong toes and ringing all the wrong bells.

    I guess that was more than one thought. Thoughts of comfort to all re the Anniversary. I was in Austin when Diana died. I cried. I genuinely mourned her.

  36. Firefly says:

    My father drowned while on a camping trip. My brother frequently spends the anniversary of his death at the campsite where he died, fishing with friends. I on the other hand, went back there once and never will again.

    People get to grieve however they want, no matter the optics. What’s right for one person will be horribly wrong for another. I’m not a Will fan, but if going to Balmoral and hunting brings him comfort, then so be it. It’s gross that this is even a “controversy.”

  37. A Fan says:

    Where I am from, hunting/trapping is absolutely the norm. And so is bringing along children. What is common and acceptable in one area may not be in another.

    [*I actually just had some delicious grouse for supper!*]

  38. Mariane says:

    We can all have different views on hunting but I’m sure we can agree that taking a 7year old(started when he was 5) to shoot birds bread for this specific purposes in 2020 is a bad idea. Those supporting them are assuming they are eating the birds when we’ve seen how they leave balmoral immediately after this hunt is over.
    The fact that we haven’t gotten a church ride picture(at least with Billie driving & lizzy in backseat) is proof that they already left for their 5th holiday of the year curtsy of taxpayers ofcourse