Revealed: Prince Harry DID join the royals for the traditional Boxing Day shoot despite reports of a ban by Meghan – but was his pregnant wife among the party?
- Prince Harry believed to have joined his family for traditional Boxing Day shoot
- There had been rumours that he declined to join in shoot because of Meghan
- However sources say the shoot went on ahead as planned on 26 December
- It is not known whether the heavily pregnant Duchess joined in with the hunt
The Duke of Sussex has wrapped up his first Christmas as a married man with a traditional Boxing Day hunt.
While rumours he had been ‘banned’ from taking part by wife Meghan have been swirling for weeks, insiders have now confirmed that Harry did indeed join in the pheasant shoot.
However a question mark still hangs over Meghan’s attendance; the former actress is heavily pregnant – ‘nearly there’ by her own admission – and may have opted to stay inside in the warm instead.
Earlier this week, palace sources were forced to deny speculation that animal-loving Meghan had ‘banned’ her husband from taking part in the annual pheasant shoot – calling the rumours ‘completely untrue’.
Meghan’s mystery: It is not known whether the Duchess of Sussex (pictured at Sandringham on Christmas Day) decided to join her husband for the traditional Boxing Day shoot this week
Prince Harry on a shoot in Sandringham in 2002. Harry is understood to have been shooting with friends since he started living with Meghan and they acquired a black labrador puppy earlier this year specifically to be a gun dog
MailOnline has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.
The Mail’s Richard Eden revealed that Meghan had made clear she was happy for Harry to continue shooting with the rest of the royal family, as he has done since the age of 12.
There had been speculation that the Suits star had told Harry he could not take part in the traditional shoot, despite staying at Sandringham House as guests of the Queen.
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A palace source said: ‘It’s completely untrue that Her Royal Highness has banned the Duke from shooting.’
Harry is believed to have been shooting with friends since he started living with Meghan and the couple acquired a black labrador puppy earlier this year reportedly to be a gun dog.
David Roper–Curzon, Lord Teynham’s son and heir, who has been shooting with the Prince, told Richard Eden: ‘[Harry] is a very good shot. Not only that, he is a great figure in supporting those who work in that industry.’
Meghan has been described as an animal rights advocate since her former showbusiness agent, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, claimed earlier this year that she had declined to promote fur or animal products.
There had been speculation that the Duchess of Sussex (pictured in Twickenham earlier this month) had told her husband he could not take part in the royal’s traditional Boxing Day shoot
A source said: ‘Like Harry, Meghan is very keen to promote wildlife charities and animal conservation. However, Harry believes shooting is a sustainable field sport and she won’t stop him.’
For the royals, shooting is rooted in understanding the countryside and the delicate balance that is best protected by active management of the land.
Harry reportedly did not attend the Boxing Day shoot last year, before he and Meghan were married, but it’s not clear why.
He has enjoyed shooting since he was a boy. Although it was inaccurately claimed that his mother, Princess Diana, was opposed to bloodsports, she once shot a stag at Balmoral and did not object to either of her sons shooting: she used to refer to them jokingly as the ‘killer Wales’.
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