Five year old prince taken grouse shooting

The Royal Family do some strange things. 

The appearance in the news (see here, here, here, here) that 5-year-old Prince George had been taken to experience his first grouse shoot could not have been an accident.

In 2008, it was revealed that Prince George’s great-grandmother donated money to Songbird Survival.

Earlier this year the Queen was revealed to have donated to a charity helping gamekeepers.

The Queen has a large private income and she is entitled to do with it what she likes.  The fact that these private donations make their way into the national papers suggests that either others are breaking confidences to use the Queen’s name to attempt to bolster the flagging reputation of game shooting or that she is a willing assistant in this aim.

Balmoral is set within an area that can only be described as a wildlife crime hotspot.  We never hear the Royals condemning wildlife crime on grouse moors or in any other context involving shooting by the rich and landed community of which they are a part. Condemnation of illegal killing of wildlife is restricted to what happens in foreign lands and yet wildlife crime is an issue in the Royals’ own neighbourhood (see here, here, here).

‘Whilst animals continue to be killed by criminals, whilst whole species are poached to extinction, we will join together to ask one simple question: Whose side are you on?‘ – Prince William

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18 Replies to “Five year old prince taken grouse shooting”

  1. You hit the nail on the head there, with a very large thump!
    I can answer Prince William and state that I'm not on the side of the criminals.
    It is reasonable to wonder whose side Prince William is on?

  2. Surely we know what side they are on, or at least what side Harry is on remember Dersingham bog! and he was in the company of a Van Cutsem who own Mossdale Estate in the Yorkshire Dales where a keeper was cautioned for setting three poletraps where a harrier had been seen. Perhaps we should be asking how many Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles, Peregrines, Goshawks and Short -eared Owls nest successfully on Balmoral estate. Whether there are Wild Cats and mountain hares there too.

    1. I did an article for 'Bird Watching' [the best selling bird monthly magazine in Britain] on 'Safaris' advertised in Scotland in 2013.
      Yes Balmoral is one of the ones I covered. They are often financed by Scottish Natural Heritage with your money going for a ranger on the estate. What is advertised is what you may see on your 'safari'.

      Although Birds of Prey are mentioned you will note that when the 'slide show' is watched on the web site there are no pictures of Birds of Prey to encourage you on your visit!

      I tried writing an article on a 'good' shooting estate for the 'Shooting Times' this year after Des Thompson encouraged me to try them but the editor claimed '‘I don’t see an angle on this I’m afraid that we’d like to run.’

  3. Before commenting, I have, as I'm sure many others have also, had to bite my tongue.....quite hard! I am totally and absolutely disgusted and appalled by this behavior. Even though I read about it a while ago, it still sickens me. I consider it to be brainwashing, taking such a young child to see this 'sport'. Would you take one to an abattoir for a day out? If you did, I would suppose you'd be in a bit of trouble! Once the child is old enough to fully understand the implications, and providing they are properly told views from both sides of the divide, they can make their own minds up. Must stop here, before I say something treasonable!

  4. There seem to be conflicting stories.
    Was George actually present on a grouse drive ( I would not want a five year old in a butt with me), or
    did he just pole up for a bit of lunch ?.

  5. No doubt once George is old enough he’ll be championing the fight against the illegal killing of mammals in Africa- correctly referred to as poaching. But turn blind eye to illegal killing of raptors in our country referred to as vital conservation by his cohorts.

  6. It is a sad sad day when this antediluvian attitude of slaughtering as many grouse as one can for so called “sport” is introduced to young people.

  7. We should be a little careful in our condemnation, however justified it may be. Despite what we may want to happen in the future the intensive grouse shooting industry, if we ignore all the activities required to ensure it is financially viable, is still legal. I imagine the Royal Family have a somewhat different attitude to this activity, seeing it as part of their place in society and part of their cultural background. What is needed is a cultural change within the Royal family driven by the realization that their comments about poaching in Africa and support for rather shallow songbird charities is inconsistent with their activities at home. Cultural change comes slowly, with patience and won't happen if everything they do is called out with hysterical criticism..we want them to engage with us, not pull up the drawbridge and ignore us.

    1. Engage with us ?? They don't, and they never will, give a monkey's what we think. They are integral to the whole rotten culture, its cheerleaders in chief. Do we all have to hang around waiting for them to give us the nod ? I don't think so.

    2. I nearly understand what you are trying to say. Except it seems to me that you are wrong in so many ways that your point loses all force. First, the Royal Family are not a 'culture' they are a family. And people, families, are or should be more tractable than cultures. They are also, or should be, more immediately vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy. Most cultures depend to a degree on hypocrisy, the Royal Family ultimately cannot. They should also have advice to the effect that Songbird Survival is what is it and not another thing. And so on and so on. And you betray yourself by calling the criticism 'hysterical'. Not in an ordinary view of how to bring up children it isn't. And finally - if they do pull up the drawbridge - is that their problem or ours?

  8. Mind you, this will probably do the child less harm, in the long run, than being taken to watch
    Aston Villa.

  9. I'm with Trapit on both his comments but, seriously, it is very obvious that our Royals are grounded in a very Victorian mindset which will eventually be their undoing. Actions which many people regard as hypocritical and self-serving become more glaringly obvious as time moves on. Marrying 'commoners' may be seen as progressive but ultimately people will just start asking, 'who are these people, and why are we always footing the bill'?

  10. I’ve always regarded the Duke of Cambridge as progressive and, therefore, felt optimistic about the future of the Royal Family. Episodes like this, however, confirm my worst fears. That there’s a distinct differences in their minds between Big Game poaching in Africa and the decimation of our native raptors by driven game shooting.

    1. And, it's not just our native raptors, Ed, it's our native mammals as well, some of which are rarer than the persecuted birds.

  11. This report on capercaillie 'conservation' at Balmoral indicate to me that there was no way conserving it was going to compromise deer stalking - god no! Deer fencing is still a major component of the necessary forest regeneration - over 30 km of it - which has pretty much been the story across the board in Scotland despite all the millions poured into caper conservation. There's also quite an emphasis on predator control - surprise, surprise. In the area places where decent restoration has taken place rather than predator control as at Glenfeshie and Strathspey the caper is coming back.

  12. This is a complex issue. The royals have always been involved in hunting. They cannot be seen to side with any particular political views. I would suggest seeking a direct audience with a member of the royal family to ascertain a) Why they hunt and b) How they feel this links in with conservation. The Royal family have all been told repeatedly that they have been chosen by God. It is therefore very likely that they feel they have a God given right to hunt their own land. There isn’t always a simple easy answer to these issues. It is only right to raise awareness and start a debate, but I think the best at forward is by talking directly to the royal family.


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