Queen Elizabeth II has lived through decades of fashion faux pas — and she's finally ditching one of the biggest ones there is: fur. That's right — the Queen is quitting the cruel fabric, and some of her favorite fur pieces have been upgraded with faux fur. The Queen has had many iconic fashion moments throughout her tenure as sovereign, so the fact that she's saying no to fur will hopefully inspire many of her followers to do the same.
Angela Kelly, the Queen's dressmaker of many years, recently published a book about her career titled The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, The Dresser And The Wardrobe. As reported by The Telegraph, in the book, Kelly writes: "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.”
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace confirmed the news in a statement for The Telegraph: “As new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake.”
The Queen has been wearing fur for decades, so this is a pretty notable wardrobe upgrade. As noted by Vogue, the Queen wore an purple velvet robe trimmed with ermine (stoat) fur to her 1953 coronation; she's been spotted in a variety of coats and wraps made from white fur; and then there's a floor-length brown fur coat that's been a mainstay of the Queen's wardrobe since the 1950s.
That said, it's unclear whether the Queen is removing and/or updating all the furs she already owns from her closet, or if she will continue to wear them, and just stop acquiring new ones. According to The Telegraph, Kelly wrote in her book that some of the Queen's favorite fur pieces have already been altered — for example, she wrote that a mink-trimmed coat the Queen wore in 2008 in Slovakia has been updated with a fake fur trim. It would be exciting if the Queen takes a page out of Kim Kardashian's book — when the reality star decided to give up fur, she had all of her favorite fur coats remade with synthetic, cruelty-free materials.
Various animal rights groups are supportive about the Queen's choice to ditch fur. "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," Claire Bass, executive director of animal charity Humane Society International, said in statement for the UK's PA Media, as reported by CNN. The team at PETA also shared their support of the monarch's decision to ditch fur.
We’re raising a glass of gin and Dubonnet to the Queen's compassionate decision to go fur-free.— PETA UK (@PETAUK) November 5, 2019
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: https://t.co/mIL9aq9wze pic.twitter.com/zh5keyhTHJ
Perhaps the Queen's shift toward an animal-friendly wardrobe was inspired by her granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. As Meghan's former talent agent Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne told Plant Based News, the Duchess refuses to wear fur. She is also a big fan of vegan leather pants, she said in an interview with Good Housekeeping a few years ago.
Fur is growing more and more out-of-date in the fashion world, with many major fashion houses — including Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci, Armani, Versace, and Furla — going completely fur-free. But besides that, fur farming is detrimental to the environment. As Fur Free Alliance explains, fur farms pollute the surrounding soil and waterways; the process of dyeing pelts puts toxic chemicals into the environment (and is a health hazard to the workers); and fur factories produce significant greenhouse gas emissions. Not to mention, live-trapping wild animals for their fur can decrease biodiversity and put endangered species at further risk.
Furthermore, fur is an extremely cruel industry, responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million animals each year, according to Fur Free Alliance. The group also notes that about 95 percent of fur comes from fur farms, which are not unlike factory farms — dark, cramped, and disease-ridden.
As the Queen proves, there is absolutely no need to wear fur in 2019. For a list of verified fur-free fashion brands, check out the website Fur Free Retailer.