Shooting Parties of Yesteryear

Prince of Wales at Highclere Castle 1895

Prince Albert Edward at Highclere Castle

The indulgent shooting parties of the Edwardian era where the pre and post shooting dining and drinks parties were possibly even more important than the days in the field, seem to have long passed.

Highclere Castle (better known as Downton Abbey to many of us) was renovated extensively just for the weekend visit of HRH Prince Edward and his “close friends”. The catering and drinks bill for that weekend ran into the staggering 1,ooo’s of pounds.

Over indulgent? Quite possibly.

In these more austere times, most Guns are pleased to partake of a delicious shoot lunch or dinner – usually without the port and cigars – and be on their way home. All a bit sad really.

Does that mean the more social shooting scenario of yesteryear should be forgotten and not emulated ever again? I sincerely hope not.

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