Oh no, Prince William won’t be able to grouse-hunt at Balmoral this year

The Duke of Cambridge during his visit to Brighter Futures

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly spent two weeks on the Isles of Scilly (in Cornwall) again this year. They took a family vacation to the same area last year too, because of the fear of traveling outside of the UK because of the pandemic. We only found out about the trip after it was over, which is quite common these days with Will and Kate: we never know where they are or what they’re doing. I guess we’re supposed to assume that they’re in Norfolk right now, at Anmer Hall, and that they will eventually put in an appearance at Balmoral. That’s what’s expected of them, to visit the Queen in Scotland for at least a few days. The Queen usually has to bribe them to come up for even a short amount of time, and who knows if we’ll get another Flybe stunt (probably not, since that was only a massive set-up to make the Sussexes look bad). What we do know is that if and when the Cambridges go to Scotland, they probably won’t be able to go on a grouse hunt. From the Eden Confidential column in the Daily Mail:

Prince William and Prince George often have a father-and-son day out on the Glorious Twelfth, as they hike around the moors of Balmoral and try to shoot some grouse. However, I hear the day may not be so glorious this year, as the August 12 festivities are likely to be called off following a frosty spring which killed many of the young birds.

This means there is a shortage of grouse, one of the most popular game birds. Gamekeepers across the country have therefore suggested that estates call off their shoots or postpone them until later in the year. This may include Balmoral. A spokesman for the Royal Family tells me they are ‘leaving it to the experts’ when it comes to deciding if they should open next week for the shoot, and will not be drawn on whether a decision has yet been made.

Prince George’s godfather, the Duke of Westminster, has one of the biggest grouse-shooting estates, at Abbeystead in Lancashire. He often welcomes groups for the Twelfth, and could be affected by the lack of birds. The Bolton Abbey estate in North Yorkshire, owned by the Duke of Devonshire, is considering cancelling festivities after a ‘grim’ year.

Happily for the field sports-loving royals, other game, including deer, are still plentiful. The Queen has traditionally enjoyed deer-stalking around her Scottish estate, so some fun will be had by the aristocracy and royals this shooting season.

The prestigious date earned the royal approval of Queen Victoria when she took on Balmoral, and this significance meant anyone who was anyone needed to be out on the moors in the late 1800s. The tradition carries on today.

[From The Daily Mail]

Of course the tradition carries on today! The royals and the artistos are stuck in the Victorian age, for the love of God. I can only imagine the tantrum William will throw when he hauls his ass up to Balmoral and finds out he can’t shoot animals during his trip. Personally, I’ve never believed that Kate is that into hunting either, she only pretended to like it when she was waitying. I don’t even think she likes Scotland or Balmoral that much, which is why the family only spends a week there (at most) during the summer. Anyway, while everyone is dealing with real problems, just know that Baldingham will be stomping around a Germanic castle in Scotland, incandescent with rage that he can’t shoot birds.

The Duke of Cambridge hosts an outdoor screening of the Heads Up FA Cup final on the Sandringham Estate. William watches with Tony Adams as Chelsea score.   1.8.2020

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour of Scotland

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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67 Responses to “Oh no, Prince William won’t be able to grouse-hunt at Balmoral this year”

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  1. Scorpion says:

    Oh look, Heir Force 2 has his caring face on 😁

  2. CherHorowitz says:

    Maybe the Grouse could hunt William this year?

  3. Amy Bee says:

    Diana hated Balmoral but I suspect that Kate loves it because it confirms her status in society and in the Royal Family. Also there’s nothing like an advocate for the environment enjoying the hunting of animals.

    • Layla says:

      There’s quite a few pics of Kate grouse hunting on pinterest. Doesn’t look like she hates it

      • C’mon! The Ultimate Climber is not going to miss an opportunity to do the most aristo thing ever and GROUSE SHOOT. Ffs, they are ridiculous and it just makes me yearn for a revolution where their estates are all made into national parks and they have to live in council housing someplace horrible and grim. There are hungry children in their own country and the NHS needs funding and somehow they justify these outdated chinless twits, as if tourists won’t come to look at Castles and ALLL the history in England if these idiots aren’t living off the land and GROUSE SHOOTING every year. It’s ludicrous.

      • Lizzie says:

        Her photographer was there taking her pic? Yes she was happy.

      • Isabella says:

        Just like her sister. “Having a pheasant break? Pippa poses with 50 dead birds on shooting trip in Scotland.

        “The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister and her friends were pictured grinning broadly after what looks like a successful day’s sport at the sprawling Drum Estate in Gilmerton, south of Edinburgh

  4. Astrid says:

    “Anyway, while everyone is dealing with real problems, just know that Baldingham will be stomping around a Germanic castle in Scotland, incandescent with rage that he can’t shoot birds. ”

    Loving this!

    • Indica says:

      All that incandescing with rage has really done a number on his looks. He was cute as a kid, now he’s got the ‘angry old man’ face. And he’s (as he likes to remind people) not even 40.

      • nina says:

        He looks like the Duke of Kent, especially the second picture. Oh Boy, he is not aging well. Diana’s good looks has totally flown the coop.

  5. Seraphina says:

    I guess carrying on these Victorian aged traditions helps cocoon them from the ever changing and evolving world. Sigh.
    Isn’t Willy Wonka pushing an environmental agenda??? So he is all about hunting??? How about skeet shooting instead.
    And Kate will go along to get along so not to rock the boat.

  6. Giddy says:

    These photos are the best! From William holding the tiny pink watering can to the one of him doing his famous beaver impression, they are perfect!

  7. WithTheAmerican says:

    Their love for killing animals really stood out as a theme in theCrown, their abuse of resources. I think sport hunting is appalling and breeds sociopathy.

    • Seraphina says:

      I really can’t comprehend the need and desire to find entertainment in sport hunting. I once ran over a squirrel and got sick to my stomach.

      • Becks1 says:

        I really dont get it either. It’s just squicky to me that its considered posh for the rich aristocrats to go out and kill things for fun. Very “The Most Dangerous Game.”

      • BeanieBean says:

        Oh, I did that once, too. I’ll never forget it. Awful.

      • Kristin says:

        Me too. I accidently hit a rabbit when I was a teenager and had to pull over the car because I was crying uncontrollably. My mom thought I was crazy lol! I live in an area of Southern Illinois that is heavily populated by deer and we have deer hunting season every fall, but the people who hunt obviously use the deer for it’s meat. And since it’s a poorer, more rural part of the state, deer hunting legitimately helps put food on the table for alot of families who need it. But hunting purely for sport? Or trophy hunting? I find that more than a little psychotic.

  8. ShazBot says:

    I am sorry, what is wrong with Brits?
    “The Queen has traditionally enjoyed deer-stalking around her Scottish estate, so some fun will be had by the aristocracy and royals this shooting season.”

    Why does anyone care? Why is this a priority? Why do millions of citizens put up with this classist societal structure?

    • Seraphina says:

      Because that classist societal structure breeds racism and elitism that makes those racists havenots feel better about themselves, keeps them in line and keeps the elites sitting on top.

    • Eurydice says:

      “Some fun will be had…” I can’t tell if the writer is being earnest or sarcastic.

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      They also suck in massive subsidies for the grouse moors. May be changing with leaving the EU, but current suck-up government has made the right promises of taking over the payments, on the taxpayer.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      To be fair, the royal reporter nuts often fill out articles that would otherwise be maaaaybe a paragraph long with related or somewhat related royal history, mainly so that the 50-75 active royal reporters can each continue to pump out a ridiculous number of articles every day without actually having much of anything new or interesting to say about the same one or two dozen people in one family who always do the same things every single year and, to a near religious extent, strive to be as boring and predictable as possible.

      And they tend to assume that nobody reads the whole article anyway, so the stuff at the end is either the stuff they think nobody will care about or the stuff they don’t want people to think about too much. So tough, being a gossip columnist.

  9. Chaine says:

    It’s not forgivable that their holiday is to slaughter other living beings for fun. It sheds a whole other light on the queen to imagine her “deer stalking.” Deer are basically woodland cows, quiet animals that just move from place to place eating vegetation and harming no one.

    • Amy Too says:

      I thought deer stalking was just going out to look at the deer. I’ve watched some shows about aristo houses and what one does there and whenever they show deer stalking it’s just people basically crawling around on the ground in those silly hats trying to get a good look at the deer and then drinking whiskey out of a flask. Do they actually shoot the deer and they’re just not showing that part on the shows? I don’t see them carrying guns. Do some people shoot and some people just go look, but both are referred to as deer stalking? In America, people hunt deer, but it’s called deer hunting.

      • Eurydice says:

        I think deer stalking is still about killing deer, but maybe not using hounds?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Some deer stalkers shoot with a camera and some deer stalkers shoot with a rifle.

      • SlipKeenNot says:

        They usually cover their real hunting targets. I saw on facebook a anti-hunting page accusing the Duchy of Westminster for allowing hunting illegal animals, like foxes, on his properties under the guise of just “stalking” them. There are pics of tenants’s cats being slaughtered by their hunting dogs, they trespass the tenants’s area too without warning, they don’t have to use guns I think.
        And sorry for the typos, english is not my native language.

      • Lara (the other) says:

        There is the traditional deerstalking that involves killing and the alternative involving “shooting” with a camera.
        Similiar with fox hunts. There are the old ones destroying crops and killing the fox and the alternaives where the fox is played by a rider who plans an interesting but non destructive route through the fields and Woods.
        The alternative once can be great fun, we even have a vegetarian barbecue afterwards.

    • BeanieBean says:

      While I thinking hunting is not a ‘sport’, an overpopulation of deer can be bad for the environment. I realize that’s not the case here, but unchecked deer populations actually can be harmful.
      I note that the article quoted stated that William & George ‘often’ have a father-son outing grouse hunting. Really? As young as George is? He just turned 8, so his father had him out killing things at 7, 6 & etc.? What a ‘tradition’.

      • Seraphina says:

        @BeabieBean, you make an interesting point about George and hunting. I wonder what would be said if an American father in the south took his 8 year old hunting. I doubt it would be viewed as the same by some.

      • goofpuff says:

        I am only ok with hunting if the animal is used afterwards for meat (aka when you hunt deer) which is needed if the population gets too high. Its not good for the deer or the environment to have too high a deer population.

        However trophy hunting is just GROSS and ugh. Somehow I doubt these people engage in anything other than trophy hunting.

      • Isabella says:

        Seraphina, it would be equally gross if an American father took his 8 year old out shooting. I’m sure it happens, but ugh.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Seraphina: I grew up in Oregon, and I remember in sixth grade–so, 11-ish years old–a lot of boys missed a week of class during deer season to go hunting with their dads. I guess my point is, it’s not just a southern thing, hunting is everywhere. As an adult, I think 11 is way too young, let alone an 8- or 7-year-old, to go hunting, even though kids are required to take a hunters’ safety course. Seemed oddly normal at the time.

      • Seraphina says:

        Oh, yes. I never tried to state it was just a southern thing – hunting young. I meant more of a stigma when you aren’t a royal aristo. Some people will give a pass at PG hunting at this age than to someone not of his class and money. I find it way too young regardless.

  10. Sofia says:

    The love of grouse shooting really goes against the Cambridge image of trying to project a “middle class” family that is oh soooooooo normal. Shooting is a very upper class past time. You don’t really see many middle class families or people partake in it in the UK at least so it doesn’t match the whole “look at us, we’re just a normal country loving family”

  11. BW says:

    I find it funny that the Scilly is pronounced “silly.”

    • Jaded says:

      Lots of words starting with sc don’t have a hard c. Science is pronounced “sience”…scene is pronounced “seen”…scintillate is pronounced “sintillate”.

  12. Merricat says:

    Blood sport is disgusting and primitive; I don’t care how much money you spend to do it.

    • LaraW” says:

      Is there a difference between hunting and blood sport? There’s a huge whitetail deer population in the suburbs of Maryland/DC/Virginia, so in autumn, people with permits are allowed to hunt deer. I think it has to be with archery? But people take the deer to the butcher and get venison, etc. It prevents the deer from absolutely destroying the vegetation in the area and all the trickle down consequences with respect to the local ecology.

      • Merricat says:

        There is population control, and there is hunting for pleasure. They are different.

      • LaraW” says:

        So just to clarify— the whole grouse hunting is NOT because there’s a huge grouse population? (And I have no idea what a gamekeeper in the UK does…) I’ve been working under this (mistaken) assumption that because the aristocracy had a bunch of land, they went to shoot grouse for similar population control reasons. And then eat what they kill.

      • SarahCS says:

        @LaraW the grouse are bred to be hunted, like pheasants and other ‘game’ birds. I believe they are then eaten/sold to be eaten.

      • BritDebbie says:


        Grouse shooting is definitely not population control. The grouse are bread to be shot. The moorlands are burn to provide a better “environment” for the Grouse to grow up in. Protected Birds of prey mysteriously die/disappear when they hunt around the moorlands where grouse are kept. Gamekeepers look after the birds from predators.

        We can say for an “environmentalist” that taking part in a grouse shoot isn’t great from the point of view of carbon release and the destruction of native species.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah deer hunting, based on my understanding, can be very important because in many areas (I’m in MD) the deer have no natural predators anymore so there are no checks on their population and it can be bad for the environment and local ecosystems. That’s different than hunting something bc you like the sound of the “bang” of the gun or you like the “tradition” around it.

  13. Lorelei says:

    It’s cute that Richard Eden thinks that William would actually respect this rule.
    He does whateverTF he wants, and the entire BRF thinks that laws are for peasants, so imo he’ll be out there shooting as usual.

    • Amy Too says:

      I can see William insisting that all of Scotland’s estates ship their viable grouse to balmoral so he can have his hunt like usual. Everyone else should have to cancel their grouse hunt so all the birds can be pooled together for his sole pleasure. He’s entitled like that.

  14. Keri says:

    Poor sausage! Whatever will he do with all his spare time? He’ll be forced to sit there counting the nonexistent hairs on his egg-shaped head.

    Anyone else think teaching a young child to shoot would be traumatizing to the kid? I’m an adult and it makes me shudder. Kids are Inundated with cartoons and programs about the wonders of nature and animals and then just to turn around and tell your kid to go shoot Bambi or in this case Donald duck or Tweety. That’s got to mess with a child’s head, aristo or not.

  15. Tursitops says:

    Do I understand this to mean that he can’t kill birds this year because Mother Nature already did? As if he doesn’t have a grudge against her already. Better hide the small ground animals, because who knows how his fury with play out.

  16. Pam says:

    Honestly, what CENTURY is this??? It might be one thing if they were planning to eat what they hunted, but hunting merely for sport is just barbaric.

  17. Sunday says:

    I’m not defending baldy in any way, shape, or form, but I will say that hunting is actually a very important part of environmentalism and sustainability – overabundance of deer, hunting pythons in the everglades, fishing for invasive lionfish where they’ve taken over etc. are crucial aspects of managing delicate ecosystems to help them thrive. (and of course, doing so humanely and utilizing the animals to feed people etc are crucial parts of ethical hunting, which are almost always trampled in favor of toxic masculine pathology.)

    Obviously, trophy hunting of the Big 5 (elephants, lions, et. al.) and “estate hunting” are NOT helpful for species management, and actively harm the environment. The entire method of grouse hunting is harmful, and there are even cases of estates illegally killing natural predators of the grouse to artificially maintain a hefty quantity for them to shoot later.

    This just shows how transparently pathetic William & Charles’ interest in “the environment” is – if they really cared at all, they could use their platform to highlight the difference between hunting invasive species for ecosystem management and how that differs from grandiose estate hunting that decimates natural woodlands in favor of grouse moors, manipulates predator populations, and destroys natural ecosystems all so they can have fun shooting the pretty birdie. But they won’t, because their interest is as shallow as a puddle and they’re nothing if not banal, privileged hypocrites.

    • LaraW” says:

      This was very informative re grouse hunting, thanks for the post!

    • BritDebbie says:

      Sorry @ Sunday, just saw your post after posting higher up. It is horrendous and really frustrating how the killing of protected species are happening on managed moorland and no-one seems to be able to do anything about it.

    • Rnot says:

      Agreed. There’s nothing inherently immoral about hunting for food. Humans have been doing it for eons and most native peoples still do today. Hunting can be done in a balanced way or in an unbalanced way. The problem is that the royals and too many other recreational hunters don’t follow the principles of The Honorable Harvest.

      As articulated by Robin Wall Kimmerer:
      Ask permission of the ones whose lives you seek. Abide by the answer.
      Never take the first. Never take the last.
      Harvest in a way that minimizes harm.
      Take only what you need and leave some for others.
      Use everything that you take.
      Take only that which is given to you.
      Share it, as the Earth has shared with you.
      Be grateful.
      Reciprocate the gift.
      Sustain the ones who sustain you, and the Earth will last forever.

  18. Theothermia says:

    Two endangered birds were shot down over crown estates and still no one has answered for the crime. Maybe harry will dish on who really cares about the ecosystem 💚

    See reporting in the Guardian:


  19. Jay says:

    No grouse hunting? Are we supposed to feel sorry for William that he won’t be able to shoot birds for fun? Or that he won’t be able to spend time with his son, as hunting IS the only way to do that?

    Guess it’s time to introduce George to the noble art of peasant hunting. It’s the most dangerous game!

  20. olliesmom says:

    Is the trimming of a rose bush involved in this annual hunting trip?

  21. Lizzie says:

    They forgot to mention Balmoral castle has 78 bathrooms.

  22. The Recluse says:

    What I wouldn’t give to see William and the rest of those pampered people get chased up a tree by an angry moose.

  23. Tessa says:

    Does George go hunting with William for grouse?