By Jennifer Earl
Published December 17, 2018
Prince Harry is reportedly choosing not to participate in a decades-old holiday tradition with his brother Prince William this year as a sign of respect to his new bride Meghan Markle.
The 34-year-old royal is skipping his family's annual Boxing Day pheasant shoot — something he has done for at least 20 years — because of Markle's love of animals, according to the Daily Mail. Markle has apparently always been passionate about wildlife and does not support hunting.
In May, PETA praised Markle, 37, for her vegan-friendly lifestyle, including her opposition to fur and leather.
"By choosing to oppose fur and leather, Markle is actively helping to stop the global skins trade. Whether it came from an animal on a fur farm or one who was trapped in the wild, every fur coat, trinket, and bit of trim caused an animal tremendous suffering — and took away a life," PETA wrote in a blog post.
Harry allegedly skipped last year's hunt as well because of Markle.
“He hardly ever misses the shoot but he loves her so much," a royal insider told the Mirror, adding it looks like Harry's "shooting days are over."
"She’s a keen animal lover and likes to eat vegan during the week and she has a strict no-fur policy. She has also been encouraging Harry to eat less meat and more fruit and veg and is now keen to fully convert him to her views on hunting," another source added to the British tabloid.
Sources say it's just the latest example that proves the brothers are "drifting" apart, despite the palace's recent denial of any problems between the royal families.
In early December, Kensington Palace issued a rare statement shutting down a report in The Sun about an alleged argument between Markle and Kate Middleton.
"This never happened," a Kensington Palace spokesman said in response.
While Harry may skip the traditional hunt, the pair is still expected to participate in a handful of other royal holiday traditions — such as stepping on the scale after eating Christmas dinner and swapping funny gag gifts on Christmas Eve.
"The royals are of German descent so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations," former royal chef Darren McGrady previously told Express, noting Germans typically open presents on Dec. 24. "After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition."