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.
1. Kate Middleton’s Photography
Not only did the 37-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 (5), Princess Charlotte (4) and Prince Louis (1), as well as first day of school photos. She even serves as the patron of the Royal Photographic Society.
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 Louis’s diaper bag. Just do us a favor, Prince William, and wear a helmet.
3. Prince George’s Skiing & Ballet
Like his parents, Prince George took up skiing early on. During a royal tour of Scandinavia, his mom revealed that he had his first skiing lesson when he was only two years old. More recently, the prince has started learning ballet at school and even partaking in outdoor photography lessons with his sister, Princess Charlotte, and Middleton.
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 has also taken up horseback riding.
5. Queen Elizabeth’s Horseback Riding
The 93-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.
6. Prince Philip’s Barbecuing
In an exclusive interview with PureWow, Queen Elizabeth’s former private chef, Darren McGrady, told PureWow that Philip is the most avid chef of all the royals. “Prince Philip [loves] to cook, and he [is] fantastic at barbecue. When they’re at Balmoral Castle, their home in the 50-thousand-acre space in the Scottish Highlands, they go out to the lodgings and Prince Philip [cooks] dinner. So he’s the chef in the family,” The Royal Chef at Home author said.
7. Prince Harry’s Polo
Prince Harry has participated in a large number of polo tournaments in his day. Most recently, he 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 last July, 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 reportedly has its own private studio. But that’s not her only passion. The 37-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 to this day.
9. Prince Charles’s Chickens
The 70-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?