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This is getting rather unpheasant, Ma'am.

Byline: KEITH McLEOD

WELL, now we know what the Queen did with that bird whose neck she wrung yesterday.

No, not Fergie's ... but the pheasant shot on her Sandringham estate.

Just 24 hours after dispatching the creature to the great nest in the sky, the Queen turned up for church with feathers in her hat - pheasant feathers.

No wonder onlookers were wondering if Her Majesty was a pheasant plucker.

Was the hat intended as a message of defiance aimed at the animal rights campaigners?

Or was it all simply a rather unfortunate coincidence?

The Queen arrived with the Duke of Edinburgh for the traditional Sunday morning church service on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk looking unamused.

The irony of the Queen's choice of headgear was not lost on other parishioners. One said: "People at the church noticed straight away. It's certainly surprising, given the controversy that picture caused."

The Queen found herself on the front of several Sunday papers, photographed stooping to wring a pheasant's neck.

The shocking image was captured on Saturday during a shoot on her Norfolk estate when a gun-dog picked up the bird after it had been shot.

Steve Rackett, of the League Against Cruel Sports, stormed: "The Royal Family is setting an appalling example by shooting birds for fun."

But Buckingham Palace defended the Queen's actions. A spokesman said: "It was clearly the most effective and humane way of despatching the injured bird."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 20, 2000
Words:238
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