Meghan Markle has added a bit of Hollywood glam to the British Royal Family, with every tidbit of news from the Sussex household triggering ripples of intrigue and excitement across the globe.
Marrying a Prince may sound like a fairytale, but life as a Royal can also be quite daunting.
Thankfully, Meghan has a fantastic hobby to help her cope with the stresses and strains of life in the spotlight: yoga. Its benefits are said to have already inspired a zen-like transformation in Harry.
During a visit to Birkenhead this year the Prince of Sussex was overheard revealing that he had begun practicing daily meditation while in conversation with a Buddhist monk.
Multi million pound renovations at Frogmore Cottage notably include plans for a yoga studio.
Meghan and yoga
Meghan’s relationship with yoga dates back to her childhood in LA where her mother, Doria Ragland, worked as an instructor. She became a more devoted practitioner while at college, and later during her acting career.
Like many others, Meghan views the benefits of yoga as both physical and mental.
“Increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety, and better sleep,” she has previously said in an interview with Best Health.
Meghan practices yoga (- vinyasa & “hot” yoga are two of her favourite methods) at least twice a week, with sessions rumoured to start as early as 4:30am!
Hobbies fit for Royalty
While Meghan and Harry have embraced yoga as a great way to keep in shape, and decompress, it remains unlikely the Queen will be joining any early morning sessions.
Nevertheless, the Royal Family has a rich tradition of hobbies and pastimes. Here are some of our favourites.
Queen Elizabeth, lover of animals
Serving as monarch means having a packed schedule, and little downtime, amid endless Royal duties. But Queen Elizabeth has been an animal lover since childhood.
She is renowned for her dog breeding: corgis are the breed most often-associated with Her Majesty. But these days it is in fact mainly ‘dorgis’ (Corgi-Dachshund) leaving dirty paw prints around the hallways of Buckingham, Windsor, and Balmoral Palaces.
The Queen is also an avid equestrian and thoroughbred horse breeder. In 2013 she famously wept tears of joy after one of her prized horses Estimate narrowly claimed victory in the Gold Cup at Ascot.
You can learn more about The Queen’s love of animals by clicking here.
Like mother like daughter: an Olympic legacy
Queen Elizabeth passed on her love of horses to her daughter Anne, and her grand-daughter Zara both of whom became gifted equestrians and appeared in the Olympics.
In 1976 Anne became the first member of the British Royal Family to compete in the Olympics, having previously won two silver medals at the European Eventing Championships.
In London 2012 her daughter Zara Philips went one better, gaining a silver medal as part of Team GB’s three day event team. In a rather touching scene, she was then presented with her medal by her mother, who serves as President of the British Olympic Association.
William, the unexpected petrolhead
While Queen Elizabeth may be nonplussed about yoga, a few downward dogs are unlikely to ‘frighten the life’ out of her. According to inside sources, that is how she reacted to Prince William’s love of motorbikes.
Now a father of three, William has had to turn it down a notch, but he has previously owned a high-speed Ducati, and famously drove around London upon a two-wheeled beast the night before his 2011 wedding.
What’s up Prince Charles’ sleeve?
Prince Charles likes a good hobby. The Prince of Wales has proved himself a dab hand in the garden, and with the watercolours (sales of his art have generated millions for the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation).
However, one of Charles hobbies is often overlooked. In the 1970s he was an avid magician and was even initiated into the Magic Circle following a barn-storming rendition of the ‘cup and balls’ trick.
Philip invents a new sport
In 1971 Prince Philip turned 50 – a time for reflection, and sometimes a bit of existentialism. Increasingly feeling aches and pains from years of polo, he decided to give the sport up. But not content with enjoying a bit more leisure time Philip decided to fill the void by creating a new sport from scratch: carriage racing; gathering a council of seasoned equestrians to establish a set of international rules. Philip then went on to participate at the World and European Championships … in a sport that he invented.
Watch our exclusive new documentary about Meghan, Harry and Archie’s brand new home here.