Trooping the Colour: King Charles urged to wear faux fur for birthday parade

Author: Liam Gilliver

Read Time:   |  6th June 2023

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King Charles will soon celebrate his first ever Trooping the Colour as monarch - but will he continue the tradition of wearing real bear fur?


King Charles has been urged to wear faux fur for his first Trooping the Colour as monarch.

The annual event, which originated in 1748, marks the official birthday of the sovereign.

However, the ornamental headpieces used for the parade are made from the pelt of a dead bear – just like the uniforms for the King’s guards.

As a result, vegan charity PETA has written His Majesty a letter requesting he ditch the bearskin cap for a vegan alternative.

The organisation has also sent Charles a sample of the world’s first faux bear fur material named ECOPEL. It has also offered to gift him a made-to-measure faux-fur cap.

Charles’ first Trooping the Colour

“Wearing a faux-fur cap to Trooping the Colour would show the world that the UK has a modern king… Who, reflects the morals and values of the British public, while respecting tradition,” writes PETA’s Kate Werner.

“Your support for this switch would encourage the MoD to follow suit and usher in a new, kinder uniform for your guards.”

The letter also highlights how the late Queen Elizabeth decided to go fur-free during her reign.

Photo © 	WPA Pool via Getty Images

Photo ©  WPA Pool via Getty Images

Bear skin controversy

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.

Just last month, an anonymous guardsman begged the MoD to ‘modernise’ itself by ditching real bear fur.

In an Op-Ed for the Independent, he accused the government 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.”

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

Featured photo © Samir 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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