Heritage

Why Queen Elizabeth's Summer Vacation Will Be a Little Different This Year

Grouse hunting is a mainstay of the royal family's annual Scottish vacation.
IMAGE CHRIS JACKSON / GETTY IMAGES
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Every year, the royal family decamps to Scotland's Balmoral Castle—famously Queen Elizabeth's favorite residence—for a respite from the spotlight. But this time around, there will be a little change in the itinerary.

It's a tradition for the royals to go grouse shooting (grouse are a type of game bird). Unfortunately, the local grouse population has been struggling, and hunting them will be off-limits this season. "Grouse numbers go up and down but this year they have plummeted," a Balmoral estate source told the Daily Mail.

Naturally, this has been disappointing for the Windsors. "It is a real blow to the royals’ summer holiday plans because grouse shooting is usually the main activity for the royals and their guests," a source told the Telegraph. "Although the Duke of Edinburgh doesn’t shoot after having a heart stent fitted several years ago, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew both shoot and the Queen enjoys accompanying the shoot and having a picnic."

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The Queen and Prince Philip on the Balmoral Estate in 1972.
Photo by FOX PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES.

Many have noted that Meghan Markle, at least, may find a silver lining in this situation. The Duchess is not a fan of bloodsports, although she has reportedly attended the royal family's shoots in the past.

For her part, Queen Elizabeth will have to find solace in her other Balmoral habits. She's already been spotted taking part in a horseback ride (the Queen loves her a horse), and hopefully, she's also surrounded by her canine companions.

Princess Eugenie has previously said that dogs are central to the Queen's Balmoral lifestyle. In an interview for the documentary Our Queen At Ninety, Eugenie painted quite a picture. "Walks, picnics, dogs—a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs—and people coming in and out all the time. It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa."

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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