Skip to comments.British Army Under Pressure to Replace Royal Guards' Bearskin Hats
Posted on 05/14/2005 5:51:39 AM PDT by Pharmboy
LONDON (AP) - The British army's towering bearskin hats have been a well-known sight outside royal palaces for almost 200 years, but their days may be numbered. Animal rights activists are demanding the hats, made from the pelts of North American black bears, be replaced by artificial fur, and one protester plans to follow Queen Elizabeth II in a bear costume when she visits Canada next week.
"It is time to confine bearskin to the history books, just as bearbaiting was confined to history books in this country," Andrew Butler, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said Friday.
Butler said one of the group's supporters planned to follow the queen on her May 17-25 visit to Canada, which supplies the army with bearskins.
The Ministry of Defense recently began a two-year test of a new artificial fur, the latest attempt in a decade-long search for a replacement that has so far proven unsuccessful.
Bearskin is a famously durable and luxurious fur, making it difficult to replicate. The artificial fur previously tested, usually made with nylon, did not absorb water well, tended to discolor, and stuck up at all angles with static, an army spokesman said.
The hats are worn by members of the five regiments - the Grenadier, Welsh, Irish, Scots and Coldstream Guards - who protect Buckingham Palace and other royal sites. The bearskin hats cost $1,218, and can last 20 to 40 years through wind, rain and sun exposure.
The army said bears are not killed expressly for their fur. Each year the army's hat manufacturer buys roughly 100 pelts from an annual cull of tens of thousands of Canadian bears. Animal rights groups protest this is far more than is necessary to control the population.
It is thought that the army has used bearskin hats since the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, when soldiers took the hats directly off the heads of Napoleon's Imperial Guard.
The army has already replaced beaver hats and leopard skins, worn by some of its soldiers, with artificial materials.
Some people have nothing better to do. Next they will outlaw the leather belts that hold their pants up, and they will have to wear Canvas shoes.
Perhaps the hats could be made out of PETA pelts.
no they want us all to wear hemp cloths and sandles.
no cotton(might profit some evil bible thumpin suthuner)
no polyester(might profit some evil chem/oil busness)
no silk( we are robbing the poor lil worms of their homes)
I suggest they make em out of the skins of animal rights activists.
After a careful review of the picture you posted, I must reconsider my earlier statement. It appears that the black bear who occasionally shows up in my yard would only make two to three hats.
First they outlaw fox hunting, now this. At this rate, the British will soon be worshipping trees again, just like their Druid ancestors. Of course, this will be offset by the other inhabitants of the British Isles (soon to be in the majority) who will be worshipping Allah.
Are there enough PETA members with black coarse hair. This would be a solution that would solve 2 problems.
At this rate, the British will soon be worshipping trees again, just like their Druid ancestors. Of course, this will be offset by the other inhabitants of the British Isles (soon to be in the majority) who will be worshipping Allah
Immigration and demographics are a big problem but are rising on the public radar (if not the political radar). You guys probably know how this feels as much as us.
I think islam stands at around 2% of the population now but I read somewhere that america is only around 50 to 40 % of this which is stilll trouble.
First they outlaw fox hunting,
They care about a few thousand foxes (AKA vermin) but 200,000 children killed in their mother's womb mean little to them.
OH NO! We can't survive that! A single protester in a bear costume??? TOO MUCH to bear! WE MUST SURRENDER!!!
That'll show HER!
I like you suggestion.
Let's see.A few months ago fox hunting was banned,now bearskin hats.What's next?
But what if one of those skinned activists turns out to be Jewish?
Is there nothing sacred?
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