Prince Charles and hunting

31 Jul

In the lead-up to the introduction of a ban on foxhunting in England and Wales, the Daily Mail quoted Prince Charles as saying: ‘If the Labour government ever gets around to banning foxhunting, I might as well leave this country and spend the rest of my life skiing.” Quoted in the same report, Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson described the Prince’s threat to leave the country as a ‘generous offer’, adding ‘I have never known a monarch who would abdicate on behalf of a fox.’

“Prince Charles was photographed out shooting for the first time in years today…He was today spotted on a shooting party he was hosting on the Queen’s 24,000-acre Sandringham estate in Norfolk. It is believed to be the first time he has been pictured with a gun on a pheasant shoot since December 2008 and it came in the week that his elder son, the Duke of Cambridge, attended the Tusk Trust conservation awards and highlighted the plight of endangered species shot by poachers in Africa.” The Express, Nov 29, 2014

“Hunting hypocrisy? Princes accused over wildlife initiative – As Prince Charles and Prince William take high-profile roles in a summit on the illegal trade in endangered animals, critics say their pleas are undermined by their own fondness for hunting…In a video message ahead of the summit, Prince Charles said: “Our profound belief is that humanity is less than humanity without the rest of creation. The destruction of these endangered species will dimish us all.” Channel 4 News, 12 February 2014

“[Prince Charles] and his partner, Camilla Parker Bowles, have defied criticism from field sport opponents by continuing to ride regularly with the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, which meets a few miles from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire. Princes William and Harry have hunted too.” The Scotsman, 22 September 2002

“Prince Charles had spoken again and again, whenever he met Irish people, of his wish to come to Ireland and of the insistence of his security advisers that he should not. He told [Albert] Reynolds so when he met him during the Edinburgh summit in 1993. As Reynolds describes the conversation, he said to the prince: ‘Sure what’s stoppin’ ya! You’re welcome to come hunting if you want to.'” (Extract from “The Robinson Biography”. published in The Sunday Times, 1st November, 1998.)

“While protection officer to the late Princess of Wales, I was present at most of the annual November shooting parties, hosted by Prince Charles at Sandringham House in Norfolk. The post-breakfast gathering of guests, dressed in their hunting finery would meet front of house to witness the Prince of Wales assign the “male gun” position and partner for the day’s shooting. A fleet of Range Rovers would be summoned and the shooting party driven to their places for the first shoot of the day…Whatever the weather, the beaters would drive the bred pheasants from their woodland home to a prepared unharvested patch of kale, just short of a high wooded copse. Once the royal party was in position, the beaters would slash at the kale, and hundreds of birds would rise to scale the trees ahead, only to be blasted to the ground. The sheer number of birds would blacken the sky, as they drifted to a slow death, many injured bouncing off of the roughly ploughed furrows, only to have their escape plan wrecked by excitable black royal labradors. The royal shooting obsession was something Princess Diana found repugnant. Requiring little or no skill, royal pheasant shoots are a pre-planned carnage of wildlife, bred specifically for slaughter.” The Guardian, 18 February 2014

“Kate Middleton and Prince Charles go hunting – Today the Queen’s 50,000-acre Balmoral estate was the setting for Kate Middleton’s intimate weekend with Prince William – and the backdrop for the first public photograph of her with the man tipped to become her future father in law. Dressed in a camouflage jacket, dark jeans, leg warmers and gaiters over her boots, Miss Middleton could be seen at one point lying on the ground – seemingly to prepare the sights of her gun before shooting. With a pair of binoculars around her neck and a relaxed shooting position, she looked a veteran stalker. Prince Charles, wearing a waterproof coat, over a jacket and tie, and sporting plus fours, was standing just a few feet away from Miss Middleton apparently supervising the proceedings.” The Telegraph, 13 Oct 2007

“The League Against Cruel Sports has accused the Prince of Wales of using his sons to make a “political statement” after he took them hunting on the first day of the foxhunting season…The chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports, John Cooper, said: “Charles is engaging the practice of setting a pack of hounds on a wild animal for fun – but this is animal abuse in the name of tradition. He is out of touch with the British public who know that this cruel and barbaric pastime has no place in the 21st century.” BBC News, October 30, 1999

“The undercover film-makers from Viva! claim the calf was shot by a member of Beaufort Hunt. This was regularly attended by members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry before the 2004 foxhunting ban. The calf’s corpse was later taken away to be fed to the hounds. The footage was secretly recorded by animal welfare activists who infiltrated a number of farms which supply milk to the confectionery industry.” from Farm that sells milk to Cadbury ‘shoots male calves to feed hunt hounds’, Daily Mail, October 7th, 2012


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