With the sad announcement of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, we acknowledge her majesty’s enjoyment of deer stalking and love of the countryside.

Her Majesty’s achievements and service as the world’s longest serving head of state and Britain’s longest reigning monarch are well documented, what is less well documented is the Queens private love of the countryside and involvement in field sports.

Along with her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh, who’s involvement in shooting sports we reflected upon here at County Deer Stalking, upon his death in 09th April 2021 (prince-philip) Queen Elizabeth was deeply involved in shooting and conservation at the Royal estates of Sandringham and Balmoral.

Along with Prince Philip, who was an accomplished shot and former BASC patron, the Queen was a regular ‘picker-up’ on shoot days at Sandringham, where it was not uncommon for the Queen to enjoy a day spent in the field with beaters.

However, the Queens preferred shooting sport was deer stalking, and in her younger years she spent frequent days on the hill at Balmoral, where she was reportedly highly adept with a stalking rifle.

In later years, when forays onto the ‘hill’ became fewer, it remained commonplace during the stalking season for the Queen to stop by the deer larder at the end of the day, to examine the Red and Roe deer that had been accounted for and discuss with the deer stalker at length, the merits and condition of various shot beasts.

Tales have also been told by stalking guests whose forays onto the highland landscape were ‘glassed’ from afar by the monarch, who observed with experienced eyes, their own endeavours on the ‘open hill’.  

Behind the majesty it appears there was a true countrywoman at heart, with a deep passion and love for the countryside and its people.

It is a fitting tribute to the people with whom she felt so at home, that commentators described as, 'in a scene of quiet dignity’ six sturdy gamekeepers from the Balmoral estate, who used to speak and walk regularly with the Queen in the Highland landscape, bore the coffin of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from the Scottish Castle ballroom to a hearse, to begin her Majesty’s final three-day journey to London.  

May the Lord God bless and keep HM Queen Elizabeth II; may she rest in peace…. God save the King! 

To read more about HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and his love of shooting and hunting, follow this link: prince-philip-deer-stalking



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