PETA’S “Bear” Tails Prince Charles To Official Opening Of Kew Palace

Group Vows to Hound the Prince Until the Use of Bearskin Hats Is Ended

For Immediate Release:
4 May 2006

Anita Singh 020 7357 9229, ext 228
Karen Chisholm 020 7357 9229, ext 229

Kew – Prince Charles is in for a bear of a time: A PETA member dressed in a bear costume has vowed to follow Prince Charles to all his upcoming public engagements. Waving a sign that reads, “Save My Skin”, the PETA “bear” will greet Prince Charles at Friday’s official opening of Kew Palace. The “bear” will continue to be present at every upcoming royal engagement until Prince Charles convinces the queen to switch to faux fur for the Buckingham Palace Guards’ ceremonial hats. The “bear” followed Prince Charles overseas last year to America and was most recently spotted by the royal party during their extensive tour of India, where a surprised Prince Charles waved and smiled at the “bear”!

It can take the entire hide of one bear to make just one Guard’s headpiece. The skins come from bears shot in Canada, including many who are shot several times before they die. Some escape the hunters and bleed to death. When mother bears are killed, orphaned cubs are left behind to starve.

After months of campaigning, PETA Europe reached the negotiating table with the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) and is now working with several leading faux-fur manufacturers in the hope of supplying the MoD with a beautiful synthetic fabric which would replace the real bear skins. Although coming to the negotiating table is clearly a step in the right direction for the MoD, Queen Elizabeth II and the MoD continue to allow bears to be killed for these hats while research is underway.

“Prince Charles is a staunch defender of the environment, so it follows that he would oppose the slaughter of black bears for something as frivolous as a ceremonial hat”, says PETA Europe Managing Director Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Until he does, the PETA ‘bear’ will follow him, making the case that bearskin hats – not bears – should be extinct.”

PETA Europe has enlisted high-profile support from supermodel Imogen Bailey, Sir Roger Moore, Morrissey, Julian Clary, Pamela Anderson, Twiggy, Amanda Holden, Hayley Mills and others in calling for a ban on bear fur in the Household Guards’ headwear.

For more information, please visit A complete list of the dates and locations of the events the “bear” will attend is available upon request.