Royal guardsman begs government to ditch ‘cruel and inhumane’ bear fur hats

Author: Liam Gilliver

Read Time:   |  3rd May 2023

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An anonymous royal guardsman has penned an Op-Ed urging the Ministry of Defense to ‘modernise’ its uniform by no longer using real bear fur


A royal guardsman has asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to ‘modernise’ its uniform by ditching bear fur hats.

The government has long been under pressure to switch to a cruelty-free alternative material for the King’s Guard’s ornamental caps. However, it has yet to break the unnecessary tradition.

According to vegan charity PETA, the MoD agreed to adopt faux-fur ornamental caps if the material was waterproof, and had fibres the same length as bear fur.

PETA says it has ‘devoted many years and thousands of pounds to developing and testing’ a material dubbed ECOPEL. The organisation insists the ‘state-of-the-art’ faux bear fur ‘meets the MoD’s requirements’.

However, it has blasted the government for ‘refusing to honour the deal it made’ and since threatened legal action.

‘Cruel and inhumane’

Now, a member of royal guards has penned an Op-Ed for The Independent, acussing the MoD of being ‘stuck in the 19th century’. 

“These hats are an iconic symbol of the UK, my home that I am proud to serve as a royal guardsman,” the piece reads.

“Recently, however, I was made aware that majestic bears living freely in Canada are still being killed for ‘sport’. And, that their fur is used to make our caps. 

“Suddenly the uniform’s image is tarnished, and wearing it feels cruel and inhumane.”


Royal guardsman speaks out

The guardsman also states he has seen a cap made from faux-fur which ‘looks remarkably similar’ to the current ones.

He argues fellow guards would happily make the switch, and believes the military is not ‘beyond evolving’ to changing attitudes surrounding animal welfare and the environment.

“I have no interest in shaming our government or degrading our proud traditions,” the piece concludes.

“Nevertheless, I feel compelled to speak out. We are a compassionate nation, and bears are living, feeling beings… Not fabric to make caps from.”

You can read the full interview here.

Is faux fur an eco friendly choice? Check out whether faux fur or real fur is better for the environment

Featured image: Zak Hussein via Getty Images

Written by

Liam Gilliver

Liam is a journalist working for the Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! Magazine. He's also the author of We're Worried About Him and has been published in the likes of The Independent, Huffington Post, and Attitude Magazine.

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