A crown, diamond necklace and fur stole were once the bedrocks of the Queen’s going-out-out style, but in yet another revelation from the recent memoir by her senior dresser, Angela Kelly, it has been disclosed that, from this year, Elizabeth II has gone fur-free with her new outfits.
“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,” writes Kelly, who has been dressing the Queen for 25 years, in The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.
“As new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake,” a palace representative confirmed to the Daily Telegraph – although she will continue to wear her existing fur items, including ceremonial robes.
The news comes after similar announcements from a glut of big names in fashion. Italian fashion house Gucci announced it would go fur-free in 2017 and auction off all its remaining animal fur items. In 2018, London fashion week became the first of the big fashion events to commit to banning fur. When Prada announced it would stop using fur in its collections in May, activists hoped the move would reignite a campaign that had taken its foot off the pedal. Most recently, Macy’s announced it would stop selling fur items by February 2021, making it the biggest US retailer to do so, and last month California became the first US state to ban animal fur products.
News that the Queen is following suit has been welcomed by animal rights activists. “Peta [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] staff are raising a glass of gin and Dubonnet to the Queen’s compassionate decision to go fur-free,” said the organisation’s director of international programmes, Mimi Bekhechi, who called the new policy “a sign of the times, as 95% of the British public also refuses to wear real fur”.
Claire Bass, executive director of the Humane Society International, called the Queen’s decision to “go faux” from now on “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”.
Her Majesty is no stranger to fur – she wore leopard-skin stoles in the 1950s and attended the opera draped in fur in the 40s.
Peta used the news to call on the Queen to rethink the fur worn by members of the Queen’s Guard and “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”. The Humane Society International called on the government to make the UK the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur.
Kelly’s book has also brought to light claims that the royal dresser wears in the Queen’s shoes before engagements, “to ensure they are comfortable and that she is always good to go”; that the Queen requested to say the line “Good evening, Mr Bond” when she appeared alongside Daniel Craig during the Olympics opening ceremony in 2012, and that she was very happy to share a hug with Michelle Obama.
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