Harry, 34, and William, 36, have been shooting pheasants since they were children, but times are changing at Kensington Palace following the arrival of former actress Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry will reportedly skip the royals’ Boxing Day pheasant shoot to avoid upsetting his hunt-hating better half in what is seen as another blow to his relations with his brother, Prince William.
Royal insiders told The Mirror that Harry and William’s annual Boxing Day hunt has been running for over 20 years. However, this year is going to mark a step away from their long-standing tradition, as Meghan Markle, who vocally opposes fur clothing, has expressed concerns about her husband killing “defenceless animals”.
“He hardly ever misses the shoot but he loves her so much,” said a royal source.
“Harry’s always loved hunting and it has provided them with a great chance to bond as brothers,” the source added, “but now it looks like Harry’s shooting days are over”.
Prince Harry opted to back out of the the tradition after his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, expressed her discontent over a wild boar hunting trip in Germany last year.
Courtiers at Kensington Palace hint that the decision contributes to a growing split between the royal siblings: “In his mind, William sees this as another concerning example of his younger brother being pulled away from his family by his new wife. It’s the latest point of contention between the Princes after a testing time in their relationship.”
This comes on the heels of swirling rumours about souring relations between Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. UK tabloids reported in the past month that Kate Middleton was left weeping following a dress rehearsal for Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, and that Harry and Meghan will spend Christmas apart from William and Kate.