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Prince of Wales visits Balmoral and goes deer hunting on first trip to Scotland since Queen’s funeral

Prince William returned to Scotland this weekend to make a personal pilgrimage back to Balmoral for the first time since the funeral of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Prince of Wales is said to have spent a weekend at Craigowan Lodge, one of Her Majesty’s favorite hideaways on the Scottish estate and used on less formal occasions, where he went deer hunting.

It would have been a bittersweet reunion for the first in line to the throne, who was last in Scotland just over a month ago as he rushed to be by the Queen’s side as she died on the 50,000 estate. acres on Sept. 8.

A source told Richard Eden of the Daily Mail: ‘He was staying at Craigowan Lodge, where Her Majesty was staying. He was only there for the weekend.’

By stalking deer, the Prince follows in the footsteps of both his grandmother and grandfather, Prince Philip, who introduced him and his brother Harry to it when they were boys.

Deer stalking is the culling of old deer that would otherwise die in winter, with William shooting his first when he was 14 years old, something he is said to have delighted in at the time.

The activity, which has been a shared passion of the royal family for generations, was encouraged by William’s father, King Charles III, while Princess Diana jokingly referred to him as “my slayer Wales.”

William is not accompanied in Scotland by his wife Catherine, who is herself an avid marksman, and their children. A spokesman for Kensington Palace declined to comment.

His return to the Scottish estate is said to have brought back memories for the prince, as it had been just over a month since he and other members of the royal family rushed to the side of the queen as her health was failing.

William flew to Scotland in the company of his uncles Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, but they, along with Prince Harry going there, were unable to reach Balmoral until Her Majesty died.

Prince William is said to have gone deer hunting in Balmoral this weekend. Pictured: The Prince of Wales (left) with his father Charles (center) and younger brother Harry (right) in Balmoral when he was a teenager

The Prince of Wales was introduced to deer stalking by his grandfather, Prince Philip, and his grandmother was a staunch supporter of the activity.  Pictured: Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral in 1972

The Prince of Wales was introduced to deer stalking by his grandfather, Prince Philip, and his grandmother was a staunch supporter of the activity. Pictured: Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral in 1972

It is William's first return to Scotland since the Queen's funeral last month.  Pictured: Prince William (left) drives a car containing Prince Andrew (second from left), the Countess of Wessex (second from right), and Prince Edward (right) into Balmoral after the death of his grandmother

It is William’s first return to Scotland since the Queen’s funeral last month. Pictured: Prince William (left) drives a car containing Prince Andrew (second from left), the Countess of Wessex (second from right), and Prince Edward (right) into Balmoral after the death of his grandmother

William is said to have stayed at Craigowan Lodge in Balmoral, one of the Queen's favorite loopholes.  Pictured: Craigowan Lodge

William is said to have stayed at Craigowan Lodge in Balmoral, one of the Queen’s favorite loopholes. Pictured: Craigowan Lodge

The Prince of Wales has taken on his royal duties since his grandmother's death last month.  Pictured: William waves to the crowd during a visit to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland on Thursday, October 6

The Prince of Wales has taken on his royal duties since his grandmother’s death last month. Pictured: William waves to the crowd during a visit to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland on Thursday, October 6

Prince William and his brother Harry were introduced to hunting by their grandfather and their interest in the activity was encouraged by their father.  Pictured: William and Harry in Balmoral when they were younger

Prince William and his brother Harry were introduced to hunting by their grandfather and their interest in the activity was encouraged by their father. Pictured: William and Harry in Balmoral when they were younger

The Prince of Wales and his wife played a key role in the days of national mourning that followed the Queen’s death on September 8 at the age of 96.

And since then he has made numerous visits as part of his royal duties, including visits to Wales and Northern Ireland, where he and Catherine both met a large crowd of adoring fans.

The couple completed a number of engagements last week with cross-community organizations providing support to people of all backgrounds in Northern Ireland.

They started with a visit to PIPS suicide prevention charity in north Belfast.

Mayor Tina Black and Sinn Fein MP for the constituency John Finucane were among those who welcomed the royal couple on arrival.

Inside, 12-year-old Elyse Quinn, daughter of the charity’s director, Renee Quinn, handed the princess a bouquet of flowers.

During their visit, William and Kate spoke to staff about their work helping people at risk of suicide and self-harm.

The charity also arranged for them to participate in an art therapy session, painting pumpkins, with some vulnerable children supported by PIPS.

After visiting PIPS, the couple traveled to Belfast city center to check out Trademarket, a new outdoor street food and retail market where they took part in a spirited cocktail race.

After William was declared the winner, the pair learned more about the Trademarket venture transforming a previously vacant site, aiming to showcase new businesses while increasing traffic in a less frequented area.

The prince’s journey north came days before the couple announced they had recorded a special program for BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat to mark World Mental Health Day.

The couple’s discussion on the importance of mental health will air on Tuesday, with the Princess of Wales telling listeners that “Newsbeat will sound slightly different tomorrow.”

The Prince of Wales then said: ‘As part of World Mental Health Day, Catherine and I have recorded a special program where we take over the radio to talk about the importance of mental health.’

William added that they will talk about mental health toolboxes that can equip people with coping skills and resources to relieve anxiety and depression.

The Prince and Princess of Wales (pictured with Emma Hardwell, Ben Cowley, Antonio Ferreria, Dr Abigail Miranda and Pria Rai) recorded a special program for BBC Radio One's Newsbeat to mark World Mental Health Day

The Prince and Princess of Wales (pictured with Emma Hardwell, Ben Cowley, Antonio Ferreria, Dr Abigail Miranda and Pria Rai) recorded a special program for BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat to mark World Mental Health Day

William and Kate announced on the Newsbeat show Monday that their discussion (pictured) about the importance of mental health will be broadcast on Tuesday

William and Kate announced on the Newsbeat show Monday that their discussion (pictured) about the importance of mental health will be broadcast on Tuesday

‘A toolbox is quite a useful analogy to use. A lot of people don’t realize what they need until it comes along,” said the father of three.

He added: “You could live one life for one minute and something changes enormously and you realize you don’t necessarily have the tools or the experience to handle that.”

Kate also told listeners she would like to know how they take care of their own mental health, followed by a guest explaining his approach to the royal couple.

‘There is no right or wrong, that’s part of it. Different things will work for different people,” she said.

The full show, recorded on World Mental Health Day in the Live Lounge of Radio 1, will be broadcast on Tuesday on Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network.

During the pre-recorded programme, the Prince and Princess also discussed mental health stigmas and social media pressures, the BBC said.

William said the royal couple wanted “to have a meaningful conversation about mental health,” while his wife Kate added: “The first step for all of us is to keep having those conversations and asking for help.”

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