London – For decades she has gone about her royal duties in luxury coats, hats, scarves and wraps made from real fur.
But from now on Queen Elizabeth is "going faux".
Buckingham Palace said the rule applied to all new outfits made for the monarch – but she will continue to wear items made of, or trimmed with, real fur from her existing wardrobe.
A Palace spokesperson told the Mail: "As new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake."
The move comes after animal rights campaigners have called for an end to the sale of real fur in Britain – citing extreme cruelty in its production including animals being electrocuted and skinned alive. Over the past year top fashion houses including Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Michael Kors and Victoria Beckham, have decided to stop using real fur.
Fur farms were banned in the UK in 2000 but real fur from animals including fox and rabbit is still imported from countries such as China and sold by some fashion brands. Campaigners welcomed the Queen’s landmark decision.
Claire Bass, of charity Humane Society International/UK, which campaigns against animal cruelty, said: "We are thrilled that Her Majesty has officially gone fur-free. The decision to ‘go faux’ is 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.
"Our head of state going fur-free sends a powerful message that fur is firmly out of fashion and does not belong with Brand Britain."
She added: "We are calling on the British Government to follow Her Majesty’s example and make the UK the first country in the world to ban the sale of animal fur."
The Queen has a number of favourite fur items she has re-worn consistently over the years including her ermine-trimmed state robes – made from stoats. Aides confirmed the new policy would not affect items from her existing wardrobe and any official robes, Crown Jewels or regalia.
News of her change of heart emerged in new book The Other Side Of The Coin written by Angela Kelly who advises the Queen on her wardrobe and jewellery.
She wrote: "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."
The Royal Family have often been criticised for their use of fur over the years, including mink, fox, rabbit – and even alpaca.