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HM The Queen goes fur free

Lauretta Roberts
05 November 2019

Her Majesty The Queen's personal dresser has confirmed that the monarch will no longer wear real fur, in a move welcomed by animal rights groups.

In an interview with Vogue, Angela Kelly said:  “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."

The Humane Society International (HSI), which has been working to encourage brands and designers to go fur-free and which has been lobbying for a ban on fur sales in the UK, praised the move.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK says “We are thrilled that Her Majesty has officially gone fur-free. Queen Elizabeth’s decision to 'go faux' is the perfect reflection of the mood of the British public, the vast majority of whom detest cruel fur, and want nothing to do with it.

"Our Head of State going fur-free sends a powerful message that fur is firmly out of fashion and does not belong with Brand Britain. The UK banned fur farming almost two decades ago because it was deemed too cruel, now we must finish the job and ban fur sales too. We are calling on the British government to follow Her Majesty’s example and make the UK the first country in the world to ban the sale of animal fur.”

Via its #FurFreeBritain campaign, the HSI has been at the forefront of the movement to shun fur by designers worldwide. In recent years big names such as Chanel, Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Tom Ford, Michael Kors, John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Diane von Furstenberg and many more have all sworn off using real fur in their collections.

Long-standing anti-animal cruelty organisation PETA also welcomed the announcement but called for the Queen to address the issue of her guards continuing to wear bearskin hats. PETA Director of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi: "PETA staff are raising a glass of gin and Dubonnet to the Queen's compassionate decision to go fur-free. This new policy is a sign of the times, as 95% of the British public also refuses to wear real fur.

"In 2019, no one can justify subjecting animals to the agony of being caged for life or caught in steel traps, electrocuted, and skinned for toxic fur items – so it's a disgrace that soldiers in the Queen's Guard are still parading around with the fur of bears gunned down in Canada on their caps. We respectfully urge Her Majesty to complete the policy by ordering that the fur be replaced by the humane, luxurious faux bearskin that PETA has helped develop alongside faux-furrier Ecopel and designer Stella McCartney."

Last month, the US state of California banned the sale of fur and HSI is hoping the British government will do the same. A Parliamentary debate in June 2018 drew support for a ban from MPs of all parties but at that point the Government declined to take any action. Some furs, such as domestic dog and cat and seal fur, are already banned from sale in the UK, while fur farming was banned in 2000.

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