When it comes to British items, they top the list of having everything aesthetically pleasing and screaming, ‘Royalty,’ but one thing that is not counted on the list is their uniform. Yes, the way the foot guards Dress up is very interesting. Their appearance is highly regarded and can catch the eye of any but simultaneously leave them questionable. What is the concept behind those tall, furry hats, and how is this unique way of representing themselves helps them in any way? Nevertheless, those black-hatted redcoats look smart and take great pride in wearing their attire. They are admired for their uniforms, duty to their nation, and for responsibly guarding Buckingham palace and St. James palace in London.
Examining the British guard’s attire
British guards wear tall furry hats referred to as ‘caps’ by the British army. Hard to believe, but these hats are designed to make them look more fearsome and tall during confrontations and battles. They are worn to intimidate enemies. In addition to their unique caps, the strap has some significance. Ever wondered why the strap of these black furry hats is placed under the bottom lip instead of under the chin? As absurd as it sounds, the reason is much more logical. The strap is worn under the bottom lip to protect the soldiers from falling backward (because of the heavy hat) and breaking their necks.
Apart from these ‘big bushy headcovers,’ the long red suit worn by the guards is too designed logically to make blood less noticeable when a soldier is shot. Adding to this, the suit is dyed red because of its feasibility and availability of the dye.
Facts about the British military bearskin caps
1. Origin of bearskin caps
Being ceremonial matters, military members of several armies wore bearskin caps. British soldiers first donned the caps in the 19th century, taking us back to the time of the Napoleonic wars, which led to the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the battle of Waterloo. Today the head over is worn by the five-foot guard’s regiments ( Grenadier, Scots, Welsh, Irishguard’stream) of the British army, officers of the fusilier regiments, the Scots Dragoon Guards, and the members of the honorable artillery company.
2. Why do they call it bearskin?
The black furry head covers are referred to as bearskin caps; why do they do so? Yes, they are made from the fur of Canadian black bears. They stand at a high of 18 inches and weigh about 1.5 pounds. It justifies why soldiers appeared tall and brave in them. The cap is attached to a strap with a basket-like structure for perfect fit and protection.
3. From where does Britain source their bearskin caps?
Made from the fur of a Canadian bear, Britain sources its bearskin hats from Canada. As per the measures taken by the Canadian government to control the bear population, thousands of black bears are culled annually. The supplier takes about 100 skins to make guards’ uniforms among the legally harvested ones. Reportedly, More than £321,000 has been spent by the Ministry of Defence on bearskin in the past five years.
4. Why does ‘the bearskin’ opposed?
Despite being a notable part of foot guards’ attire, the bearskin has been strongly opposed by animal rights activists. The reason is that one cap is made for the sake of one bear’s life. Nevertheless, the British guards still wear them today.
Looking forward to the current scenario
Everything changes with time. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen’s guards are now referred to as King’s guards as the Queen’s throne has passed onto the heir, King Charles
Continuing the tradition of their respected uniform, the king’s guards still wear bearskin caps, but under the Fur Farming Prohibition Act, fur farming has become illegal in England and Wales; though it’s still legal to sell fur in the United Kingdom, there is a possibility that the King’s guards might have to change this significant part of their uniform. If they fail to find an alternative for the same.