Why Meghan Markle Won't Go Grouse-Hunting at Balmoral This Year

It's a popular activity at Balmoral.

Joe Giddens - PA Images
(Image credit: Joe Giddens - PA Images)

It's officially been announced: neither Meghan Markle nor any other member of the British royal family will go grouse-hunting at all this year at Balmoral. It's a popular pastime at the estate, although Meghan hasn't participated in previous years. But this year, due to an infestation of heather beetles from a severe winter storm earlier this year, the hunting has been cancelled.

So here's the context, in case you're not familiar. Meghan Markle is, among other things, a proud animal rights activist. She's allegedly not a fan of the grouse-hunting tradition (she hasn't commented publicly, but there was speculation that Prince Harry skipped the tradition in 2017 because he was dating her). However, she participated in the traditional gathering on Boxing Day last year—even though it's highly unlikely that she actually did any hunting. It wasn't clear whether Harry did or not, and whether Meghan was there for it. Now the whole thing is a moot point:

The Queen's been spotted out and about in the area, since she's there currently. Apparently it hasn't dampened her spirits any (that's her with the Duke of York):

Queen attends church service - Crathie Kirk

(Image credit: Jane Barlow - PA Images)

Meghan and Harry are due to visit Balmoral this summer, so there's speculation this may make her stay more enjoyable.

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Katherine J Igoe
Katherine J Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributing editor at Marie Claire online who covers celebrity, fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle—from “The Bachelor” to Everlane to Meghan Markle. She also edits the Couples + Money series, so she’s always looking for volunteers at couples.money@hearst.com. Igoe: “I go to the store,” not “Her huge ego".