Henceforth Her Majesty the Queen is fur-free. This tidbit of information was revealed by the Queen’s official dresser, Angela Kelly, in her memoir The Other Side of the Coin: the Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe. Buckingham Palace confirmed the news to the Daily Telegraph stating that “as new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake.” The 93-year-old monarch now becomes a new face for the trend towards vegan fashion!
“If Her Majesty is due to attend an engagement in particularly cold weather, from 2019 onwards fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm,” wrote Kelly.
That said, the Queen will still wear fur whenever it is required that she wear ceremonial robes which are already made of fur for specific state events. However, Kelly noted that a coat worn by the Queen once in Slovakia in 2008 has since been altered by replacing the mink trim with fake fur.
According to Kelly, the queen has long been thrifty and relatively sustainable when it comes to her clothing. “Typically, the lifespan of an outfit can be up to around 25 years. Her Majesty likes her clothes to be adapted and recycled as much as possible,” wrote the dresser. When an outfit becomes too recognizable to the public, it would either be modified or the Queen would wear it off-duty.
PETA raises a glass of Gin and Dubonnet to the Queen
The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who are at the very forefront of animal welfare campaigns welcomed the news. The organisation’s director of international programmes, Mimi Bekhechi said that staff are raising a glass of gin and Dubonnet to the Queen’s compassionate decision to go fur-free.” She described the new policy “a sign of the times, as 95% of the British public also refuses to wear real fur”.
This move by the monarchy is in line with the refusal by many fashion houses to be associated with real fur. These include Gucci, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, Armani, Jimmy Choo, Hugo Boss and Vivienne Westwood.
The British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) is quite naturally opposed to the banning of fur. Its viewpoint is that fur is sustainable, plastic-free and lasts for a long time. BFTA believes that responsibly sourced fur is morally acceptable to wear.
One fan of so-called ethically sourced fur is the Duchess of Cambridge. She has been seen numerous times wearing a brown hat made from the pelts of alpacas all of whom died of natural causes. She supports Peruvian Connection, which has Fair Trade credentials and works with traditional South American cottage industries.
PETA’s viewpoint is that nobody can today “justify subjecting animals to the agony of being caged of life or caught in steel traps, electrocuted, and skinned for toxic fur items”.
PETA does go on to suggest that it is not a good idea for the Queen’s Guard to wear “the fur of bears gunned down in Canada on their caps”. The Ministry of Defence is on record as saying that it is “open” to using a suitable faux-fur alternative when a suitable one has been sourced.
The monarchy will no doubt initiate more animal conscious change in due course, but some members of the family’s love of hunting it make take a little time.
PETA recently launched a Paul McCartney anti-vivisection animated video Looking for Changes to help in its on-going battle to end the cruelty of animal testing. McCartney’s daughter Stella has recently launched the first-ever plant-based recyclable fur-free-fur coat.