9 of the Royal Family’s Most Surprising Hobbies

Everyone needs a hobby, and the British royal family is no exception. Although Kate Middleton and Prince William have been known to play a game of soccer while out on royal engagements and Queen Elizabeth has tried her hand at gardening, each royal has their own favorite pastime that they enjoy in their spare time. Here, nine (quite surprising) hobbies the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the queen and the rest of the family partake in.

kate middleton with a camera
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1. Kate Middleton’s Photography

Not only did the 39-year-old Duchess of Cambridge study art history in school (her thesis was in photography), but she acts as the family’s stand-in photographer when it comes to important milestones. Middleton was tasked with capturing the official portraits of all of her children, Prince George (8), Princess Charlotte (6) and Prince Louis (3), as well as first day of school photos. She even serves as the patron of the Royal Photographic Society.

prince william on a motorcycle
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2. Prince William’s Motorcycles

Although his wife isn’t the biggest fan of his hobby, Prince William is an avid motorcyclist. Middleton has said she is “terrified” by his passion for bikes and that she’ll never let Prince George near her hubby’s prized Ducati, which he rides when he’s not carting around his lunchboxes and school projects. Just do us a favor, Prince William, and wear a helmet.

kate middleton prince william prince george princess charlotte smiling in snow
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3. Prince George’s Skiing & Ballet

Like his parents, Prince George took up skiing early on. During a royal tour of Scandinavia back in 2018, his mom revealed that he had his first skiing lesson when he was only two years old. A year later, we learned that the prince started learning ballet at school and even began partaking in outdoor photography lessons with his sister, Princess Charlotte, and Middleton.

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4. Princess Charlotte’s Ballet & Horseback Riding

The apple doesn’t fall far from the royal tree. Like her big brother, Prince George, Princess Charlotte has developed a love for ballet. And like her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and aunt, Princess Anne, Char is also quite the horseback rider.

queen elizabeth on horseback
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5. Queen Elizabeth’s Horseback Riding

The 95-year-old monarch has been riding horses since she was three years old. She developed a passion for the sport when she was gifted her first horse at the age of four by her grandfather, King George VI. She can be seen riding side-saddle at the 1951 Trooping the Colour above. The queen has continued to ride since then and is often spotted out with her horses (most recently at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk).

camilla parker bowles
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6. Camilla Parker Bowles’s Art & Dancing

While her mother-in-law enjoys riding horses, Camilla Parker Bowles’s favorite childhood hobby involved not riding the animals, but instead, drawing them. However, more recently (especially during the pandemic) she’s been spending time taking virtual ballet classes as well as attending dance classes with pals in London. “I got a group of ancient friends together and the four of us sort of clatter around, and when we’re in London, we do it once a week and it makes all the difference,” she revealed in an interview.

prince harry playing polo

7. Prince Harry’s Polo

Prince Harry has participated in a large number of polo tournaments in his day (before leaving his life as a senior royal). In fact, he once even played alongside his brother, Prince William, while their wives and children cheered them on from the sidelines of the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day. He also played the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup in Rome in May and the Sentebale Polo Cup in England in 2018, both of which benefited his Sentebale charity.

8. Meghan Markle’s Yoga & Calligraphy

Since long before she was a duchess, Markle has been an avid fan of yoga. In fact, her mother, Doria Ragland, is a yoga teacher, so Markle has said she’s been practicing since she was a child. She’s so committed to yoga that her and Prince Harry’s Frogmore Cottage home reportedly had its own private studio while they lived there. (We imagine she has plenty of space to practice in her new Montecito house). But that’s not her only passion. The 39-year-old Duchess of Sussex also made a living as a calligrapher before she landed a starring role on Suits and still uses her tricks whenever she gets the chance.

9. Prince Charles’s Chickens

The 72-year-old Prince of Wales is a devout conservationist and seeks to keep things as fresh as possible in his home. For Prince Charles, part of that means raising his own chickens. Charles raises prized Burford Brown and Maran chickens at his Highgrove House home and is so good at it that he’s even the Poultry Club of Great Britain Patron. Judging from this pic, his secret to avian success is feeding them…salad?

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.