…and all the Guard’s men! This is no joke. For as far back as anyone can remember, the Army’s Guards have worn hats made of real bearskin. Tourists come from all around the globe to marvel at the strange spectacle. A man wearing a heavy hat on his head and not moving….how does it work? Well, no matter how it works, it looks to be changing. PETA strikes again. The Telegraph is reporting that PETA will meet with Peter Liff, the Minister for defence equipment, to propose a change in tradition. They want the bearskin to be replaced with faux fur…or more specifically a fur called Bear28 which is supposed to be just like the real thing…only not. And who’s going to be the designer? Well it’s the PETA queen herself, Stella McCartney.
The hats, now, are all 18 inches in height and weigh upwards of 1.5 pounds. They are presently made from either Canadian black bear or brown bear and all pelts are purchased from an international auction. A lot of time and effort goes into constructing the traditional adornment and it can last for decades without showing any wear or tear. Some caps have been said to last for over 100 years! The tradition of wearing the Bearskin hats dates back to the Battle of Waterloo, nearly 200 years ago when the Grenadier Guards took the hats from Napoleon’s Imperial Guard and wore them as their own as a badge of honour upon defeating the enemy.
Leave it to PETA to mess with tradition. What a great organization. Let’s just hope that if it does pass the faux fur is better looking than that which was presented on the Autumn Winter catwalks in February!