Run, Prince Harry, Run

Years ago, Mrs. Cummings and I were getting together with a friend of hers and her husband for dinner. The topic of hunting and fishing came up, and the husband quipped, “We’ve decided we don’t like fishing anymore.”

Clearly, this was a subject of contention between the two, and this man – bless his formerly knuckle-dragging and now domesticated heart – had given up the glorious pastime.

It would appear this issue is not relegated to the commoner.

Prince Harry will miss out on the traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot with his brother Prince William at Sandringham to avoid upsetting his animal-loving wife Meghan.

Their father Prince Charles will be at the shoot and Prince William’s son George may go along to catch the spectacle.

Harry, 34, has taken part in the family event for more than 20 years, but Meghan, 37, strongly opposes blood sports and refuses to wear fur.

Harry and Prince William have enjoyed hunting together over the years and it has provided them with the opportunity to strengthen their brotherly bond.

Now Royal watchers fear that Harry’s absence will only serve to deepen the reported tensions between the siblings and their wives.

One Royal source told the Sunday Mirror: ‘William sees this as another concerning example of his brother being pulled away from his family by his new wife.

‘Harry’s always loved hunting and it has provided them with a great chance to bond as brothers.

‘But now it looks like Harry’s shooting days are over. It’s the latest point of contention between the Princes.’

Meghan’s aversion to hunting is believed to have first caused issues last year, when Harry reportedly took part in a wild boar hunt in Germany. Realising his then-girlfriend ‘wasn’t happy,’ he declined to join the Boxing Day hunt last year – before missing the grouse hunt at Balmoral three months ago.

Insiders say that Harry has changed hugely since meeting his American wife.

If I may be so bold as to inquire, Your Royal Highness: How in the name of your pagan god PETA did the roasted chicken that you famously lured Prince Harry with end up on his plate? Did the bird just give up, field dress itself, take a kosher salt bath, and hop in the oven?

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This issue concerns what people misunderstand as animal rights, but it addresses something my wife and I encounter with many newly-engaged couples we work with in preparing them for marriage: Who are you when you date, and whom you become when you marry.

It’s a common line: Most engaged men don’t want their fiancées to change, but most engaged women see at least a few “refinements” she’d like to apply to the near—almost-not-quite-masterpiece that is her future husband. Somewhere in the middle is a compromise and those who don’t give in a little will find themselves frustrated and potentially divorced.

To men, unless your fiancée is a huntress (and there’s everything right with this), understand that you will not be hunting or fishing as much as you did when you were single. Pick any activity – golf, skiing, poker, video games, biking, shooting, all-weekend boys’ trips, etc. –  this part of your life will change. This isn’t a bad thing for it frees up time for the two of you to do things together. That’s the point of being married.

To women, understand your future husband needs good and strong (preferably married) male friends, and he needs to spend time with them without you. Note how I said, “good and strong” for we’ve heard the stories of married men hanging out with wild single men. Many times, it doesn’t bode well for the married men in the group. Being with good guys charges his batteries so he can be better for you.

To the both of you, be honest about who you are and what’s important to you. If you’re dating someone with a hobby or family tradition you can’t stand and have no intention of participating in – first, determine how important it is. Do you love this person enough to at least let him enjoy it if not try it yourself? But if you’re a hard-core vegan and he eats elk meat for breakfast on a daily basis, maybe you two shouldn’t be together.

Good luck, Your Highness. I don’t envy you.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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