Political Promise

‘Morrissey’s letter to the Queen’

In Richard Cunningham on September 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

On August 2nd Steven Morrissey, or ‘Morrissey’ as he is better known, wrote a letter to ‘The Times’. Richard Cunningham discusses it.

The letter from the animal rights activist and vegetarian expressed his disdain and disgust in the use of fur hats for the Queen’s guards.
The Ex-Smiths front man claimed that because it is the Queen’s Guards who wear the famous tall black hats, it is she who should be responsible.
Morrissey, who in his letter talks of the ‘bear-baiting’ that goes on to create the hats, argues that ‘hats are not worth killing for’.

Is Morrissey just a man with an opinion or does he have a relevent point? Perhaps he does, the fact of the matter is that Faux fur is probably just as useful,
looks extremely similair and more importantly is ethical. In the 21st Century one would assume that the Royal family would be keeping a reasonably low profile,
given that their position at the ‘head of state’ is begining to look precarious, Australia wants rid of them all together and Morrissey wants rid of fur hats.

However, one feels that Morrissey’s letter may go ignored at Windsor given that in 1986 The Smiths released their third album,
‘The Queen is Dead’in which Morrissey exclaims;

‘I said Charles, don’t you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your Mother’s bridal veil ?’

Somehow I feel that Her Majesty will not be paying much attention to the singer. Anyway, here is the letter below. What’s your opinion,is Morrissey right? Or just not a great fan of the Windsors?

‘Sir, I welcome Ann Widdecombe’s views on the depravity of bear-baiting in order to serve the vanities
of the British Army Guards (Opinion, July 30). In the humanised world, of course, hats are not worth killing for.
Yes, animal rights move different people differently, and there are even those who think that animals simply have no right to be,
but there is no sanity in making life difficult on purpose for the Canadian brown bear, especially for Guards hats that look absurd in the first place, and which can easily be replaced by faux versions (thanks to the visionary Stella McCartney) with no death involved.

It is difficult not to look to the Queen herself—after all, they are her Guards, and she must surely be aware of the horrific process utilised to supply real bearskins for her Guards.
The mere sight of each bearskin hat must surely jab at the Queen’s heart.

Protection of animals makes for a responsible life. The world is speeding up, and in order to assist humankind to advance we all strive in many ways to be a better “we.”

The brain speculates, but the heart knows, and there is no clever distinction in trapping and skinning bears for petty considerations based on vanity.
Concern for all beings—human or animal—is a kindness and a goodness that springs from somewhere much deeper than Royal duty, and like it or not, the Guards wearing real fur reflects the human spirit at its lowest.’


  1. He makes a relevant point – no he does not!? He raises an opinion yes; but one must remember the hats are a long tradition, a classic tradition that is through time has become instilled within British history and culture. The dogmatic assertions he makes are as powerful as saying ‘its only a few bears and a few hats, it does not matter’. Admitedly its a controversial topic, but just because its contentious and ‘politically correct’ does not mean the hats should be made defunct. There are far worse things in the world and in Britain.
    And by the way Australia wants rid of the Queen – a ridiculous comment?! I have just been there, Britain and the monarchy is engrained in Australia’s history and they know that, positively.

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