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The United Kingdom, Country Sports and Gun-making has lost a True Champion

Here at Westley Richards we are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. A truly inspirational woman who dedicated her life to the service of the people of the UK and the Commonwealth for over 70 years. Our thoughts are with all the Royal family at this time.

With the sad news of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom, Country Sports and Gun-making in this country has lost a true champion.

In a modern world increasingly detached from the outdoors, nature and the connection between it and human beings which hunting, shooting and fishing provides, the Royal family; ably led by the late Queen and her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, exemplified a healthy, realistic and compassionate relationship with the land and its inhabitants.

Her Majesty was reportedly a keen and competent deer stalker in her younger years, taking stags on the hill at Balmoral, excelling in the harsh environment and mastering the skills of marksmanship and stalking, while showing the nation the benefits of keeping fit, strong and healthy through active involvement in physical country sports.

King Charles III, Prince Edward and Prince William are all keen shooting men, no doubt inspired by the example of their parents and grandparents.

Decades of Christmas shooting parties with the late Queen in attendance, accompanied by her retrievers in the role of picker-up, are an enduring image of the connection between the Royal Family, the British countryside and healthy outdoor activity.

To Princess Anne, Elizabeth II passed her love of riding and horses, inspiring her to success in her discipline as an Olympian. To the rest of the country, the late Queen's passion for race horses and her line of gun dogs inspired everyone involved to participate and improve.

It has been observed that Edward VII was largely responsible for the steep trajectory of driven shooting in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, which made it the premier sport of the social elite and still inspires those of us today fortunate enough to participate in this wonderful, evocative tradition.

That is so, but we must also acknowledge that during the Elizabethan era, the profile of country life and its benefits to physical and mental well-being were quietly championed by our late Queen for its entirety.

That love will, we suspect, be continued, through her heir, into the Carolean era. Long may the Royal Family continue to showcase our way of life to the country and to the world. We had no better role model than the late Queen Elizabeth, for that we are grateful.

Today, the nation mourns the loss of our longest-reigning monarch and our countryside's most high profile advocate. When history reflects on the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II, it will be kind, grateful and admiring.

By her life, her work and her example, Her Majesty made it so.

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