Ahead of the coronation of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, PETA has released a video of “Their Majesties” chatting while watching a procession of the King’s Guard. Watch it now:
In the video, PETA imagines what King Charles might have to say about the Ministry of Defence’s use of real bear fur to make the “frightfully un-British” regimental guards’ caps.
“Bloody bearskin caps. … They’re so awful, they really are,” he remarks, pointing out that faux fur is “lighter, cheaper, and performs better than bear fur” and that if the material were switched, “nobody would know the damn difference!”
Did the King Really Say This?
We hold our hands up – real footage hasn’t been leaked. However, the king is a modern monarch who, we imagine, understands that humane faux-fur caps would give a nod to tradition while reflecting the values of today’s Britain.
‘Bloody Bearskin Caps. … They’re So Awful’
Did you know it takes the skin of at least one Canadian black bear to make a single cap? Only a small section of fur from the neck is used to make these bloody caps.
Hunters in Canada can kill the bears using a variety of weapons, from guns to bows and arrows. In some parts of the country, even spears are legal – a particularly slow and painful way to die. Some bears are shot several times before dying, while others escape only to bleed to death.
In some provinces, a spring hunt of bears is permitted. As bears are difficult to sex on sight, mother bears seeking food for their cubs are often killed, leading to the demise of entire families.
The Ministry of Defence has spent over £1 million on bearskin caps in just seven years, despite polls showing that the majority of the UK public agrees that taxpayer money should not be used on caps made from the skin of slaughtered bears.
This view is also held by some of the guards themselves. In an exclusive piece for The Independent, an anonymous royal guardsman spoke out about taking no pride in wearing the skin of a dead animal.
Britain is a nation of animal lovers, and over 90% of the UK public opposes wearing fur. Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II went fur-free – if our last reigning monarch gave up fur, why can’t the guards?
‘Nobody Would Know the Damn Difference!’
The Ministry of Defence long ago promised to replace the use of real bearskin for the caps once a suitable alternative was found, and a recent report from a fabric technologist confirmed that a faux bear fur produced by PETA and ECOPEL performed as well as – and in some areas better than – real bear fur in laboratory testing.
ECOPEL has even offered to provide an unlimited amount of the faux fur free of charge until 2030, yet Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace has so far refused to so much as look at the laboratory report, seemingly desperate to cling to a dated tradition.
Help Make Future Coronations Bear Fur–Free
These headpieces are an iconic symbol of the UK, but bear slaughter is not. Please join us in calling for a switch to faux fur: