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Split image of Prince Philip and Kate Middleton playing tennis© Getty Images

The Royal Family's hidden talents and hobbies revealed – from sporty Kate Middleton to painter Prince Philip

Find out about the hobbies of the Princess of Wales to Prince Philip

Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Parenting Editor
May 22, 2024
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Outside of their royal duties, the royal family is really just like us and away from the public eye, many of them have hobbies and secret talents. Some, like the Princess Royal and daughter Zara Tindall have put their talents on full display, given their horse riding prowess.

But others have kept their interests out of the public eye, whether it's having a particular interest in a certain sport or a hidden musical ability. Meanwhile, the royal children are just like our kids – they love to get outside and try out new activities. From horse riding to team sports and swimming.

WATCH: Princess Kate gets into sporty spirit during outing

Read on to find out all about the royal family's hidden talents…


King Charles gardening© Tim Graham

King Charles

The monarch absolutely loves the outdoors and is known for his environmental endeavours and his own talents in the garden with his green thumb. However, King Charles also has quite a few sporty talents, most notably his mastery of polo in his youth.

A lot of his hobbies have to do with the outside world, with Charles being a keen fisher, hiker and even a hill runner. In 2020, his wife, Queen Camilla, shared: "He'll walk and walk and walk. He's like a mountain goat, he leaves everybody miles behind."

She added: "Whether he's hedge-laying in the pouring rain, striding, like a mountain goat, up impossibly steep Highland hills, planting trees in the arboretum or pruning at Highgrove, this is where he finds true peace."


Prince William on a motocycle© WPA Pool

Prince William

A young William certainly liked to get mucky and the heir to the throne confessed that during his childhood his main interests were "climbing trees and digging ditches". He continued: "I was surrounded by this kind of adventure and this idea of exploring and being out in the garden.

"I used to spend hours climbing trees, digging ditches and all sorts of things - hiding in dens and all sorts round the garden. So I used to love being out in the wild and the wet."

However, one of his hobbies was not well-received within the royal family, with the Prince of Wales previously having ridden a motorcycle. Princess Kate said in 2015: "He's still riding it. It always fills me with horror when he goes out on it. I'm terrified. Hopefully, I'm going to keep George off it." By 2017, William had stopped riding, citing family reasons.


Princess Kate on a row boat with German rowers© Pool

Princess Kate

Like many members of her family, Princess Kate is incredibly sporty, and she has been from a young age. Speaking on the Good, the Bad and the Rugby podcast she confessed: "I can always remember being physical, using our bodies, whether it's walking, climbing the lake district, in Scotland [or] swimming from a young age.

"[My parents] always encouraged us to be physically active and sporty and they always encouraged us into doing team sports and trying things."

When it comes to swimming, it's not just relaxing in a warm pool that the Princess enjoys, but she admitted to also being quite the fan of cold-water swimming, something her husband thinks is "crazy".

"Cold swimming - the colder, the better," the fully-qualified scuba diver explained. "I absolutely love it. Slightly to the point where William's [saying] 'You're crazy' and it's dark and it's raining. I will go and seek out cold water. I love it."


Princess Charlotte playing football© Max Mumby/Indigo

Princess Charlotte

Little Charlotte seems to be quite an active child, with an interest in several different sports. During her parents' tour of Ireland, Duchess Kate revealed that Charlotte has a passion for gymnastics. "Charlotte is really into gymnastics, she's doing cartwheels, handstands, everything. It's so good for their basic skills of balance and coordination," Kate said.

Charlotte is also a keen horse rider and started riding when she was just 17 months old. These aren't her only sporty interests and the youngster is known to be a fan of football, with dad, Prince William revealing to the Lionesses that his daughter enjoys playing in goal.

The Princess has another much-loved hobby, too – ballet. People previously reported that Charlotte had been taking weekly private ballet lessons at a dance school in south London. Kate has even taken her daughter to watch The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House in central London.


King Charles and Prince Harry on a ski lift© Julian Parker

Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex is quite the sportsman, being known for his love of polo and rugby, and during his youth, he was also a keen skier and in his memoir Spare, he called the adrenaline-filled sport "sacred" and "symbolic" for him. During his youth, the Duke was also interested in hunting, although it's believed that he gave this up after meeting his wife, Meghan Markle.


Meghan Markle writing in a book© WPA Pool

Meghan Markle

Alongside her acting career, the Duchess of Sussex has pursued other interests, including the art of calligraphy. Speaking about her hidden talent to Esquire, the mum-of-two said: "I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning. I'm glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive."

And the royal also enjoys cooking, reportedly preparing a roast chicken when her husband popped the question to her. Meghan's old lifestyle blog, The Tig, featured a lot of food and wellness tips, and the Duchess is due to present a series on Netflix where she will go in-depth on her joy of cooking as well as gardening.


Prince George with a polo mallet© Max Mumby/Indigo

Prince George

Young Prince George has an interest in music and is learning to play the guitar! George is also into sport and shares a love of tennis with his mum. William and Kate installed a tennis court at their country home in Norfolk so that they and their children could practice playing, and both George and Charlotte have lessons at Hurlingham Club in London.

Kate previously revealed that George has also hit a ball with his favourite tennis player, Roger Federer. Like his sister, George enjoys horse riding. A source told HELLO! how Zara Tindall got involved: "William and Kate were really keen to get George riding – it's something all the royals do and the whole family adore animals. But obviously he's only small so they didn't want to put him on a big horse. They asked Zara if they could use one of her Shetland ponies and he's been learning to ride on one of those."

However, one of the future monarch's hobbies does have his parents concerned, with William revealing in 2022 how his son was "fascinated" with video games, leading to him and the Princess of Wales starting to carefully monitor George's screen time.


Queen Camilla shearing lavender© Anwar Hussein

Queen Camilla

Like her husband, Camilla has quite the green thumb and enjoys a spot of gardening, even making several appearances on Gardeners' World. Speaking to a member of the charity Dementia Northern Ireland during her trip there, Camilla commented: "I love gardening, I'm a passionate gardener and it's very therapeutic, but I always stay too long. Everything creaks and groans."

Camilla also enjoys quite a modern hobby as well, as the Queen confessed that she often plays Wordle with her granddaughter.  "She'll text me to say, 'I've done it in three', and I say, 'Sorry, I've done it in two today'. It's very satisfactory when it tells you how brilliant you are."


Prince William and Prince louis excavating in a digger© WPA Pool

Prince Louis

Prince George is quite the budding athlete, so it's no wonder his younger brother Prince Louis was beaming on his third birthday when his parents allowed him to ride to his first day of school on his new balance bike.

Alongside cycling, Louis is also interested in cricket and rugby, although Kate called the young royal's playing style "kamikaze". She added: "We're worrying about when he gets older, he'll be in the middle of everything."

The young prince enjoys getting creative too! Prince William and Kate shared a joyful portrait to mark his second birthday, which showed the royal tot with paints all over his hands while creating a rainbow picture to pay tribute to the NHS.


Black-and-white photo of the Queen and Princess Margaret with a pigeon© Topical Press Agency

Queen Elizabeth II

The late Queen was known for her love of horse racing, but the monarch also enjoyed a very different kind of race: pigeon racing. The royal family had been racing pigeons since 1886 after several birds were gifted to them by King Leopold II of Belgium, and during her youth, a young Princess Elizabeth became very interested. The monarch was a keen racer and her birds have won every major pigeon racing tournament.


Mia Tindall with a Shetland pony© Max Mumby/Indigo

Mia Tindall

It seems the young British royals really love their ponies, as Charlotte and George's cousin Mia Tindall is also a fan. In 2019, Zara told Australian magazine Now To Love: "Lena is in a little basket on the saddle, purely a passenger. But we just bought Mia a new pony called Magic."

Dad Mike also said he'd like Mia to try playing tag rugby: "If I was completely honest, I would really like Mia to go for tag rugby because I think it's fantastic for body awareness, athletic ability and just a general all-round hand-eye coordination."


Prince Archie plays piano in Netflix docuseries© Netflix

Prince Archie

Dad Harry has already started to teach Archie how to kick a ball. In an interview with former rugby league player and coach Ellery Hanley, Harry said: "What I need is a few mini rugby balls that I can then get Archie involved with the game because at the moment it's impossible to find any. But I've got a little bit of space outside which we're fortunate enough to have, so I need to get him playing some rugby league."

Young Archie also loves reading with mum Meghan Markle. In an adorable video to mark his first birthday, Harry and Megan could be seen reading Archie his favourite book Duck! Rabbit!


Prince Philip painting on an easel© Keystone

Prince Philip

While the late Duke of Edinburgh's passion for carriage-driving was well-known, the royal was also a dab hand at painting. One expert said Philip's paintings were "exactly what you'd expect – totally direct, no hanging about". Painting wasn't Philip's only creative hobby, as the Duke of Edinburgh also experimented with jewellery making, often giving his designs to the late Queen.

Philip very much enjoyed being in nature and would often be found fishing when he visited Balmoral, and he was also interested in the field of ornithology.

GALLERY: 12 beautiful photos of the royals enjoying the Chelsea Flower Show

READ: Archie and Lilibet's life away from the spotlight: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share rare details about children


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