♔In the UK there are around 800 Royal Warrant holders who have the privilege of trading with the royal family. They represent a vast cross-section of trade and industry, from individual craftspeople to global multi-nationals.
For business, the granting of a Royal Warrant is highly coveted. It has long been prized as a benchmark of service, excellence and quality.
The Royal Warrant is an official acknowledgement that the business has provided goods or services for at least five years to either:
HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, or HRH Prince of Wales.
For the holder, the Royal seal of approval has the added advantage of boosting their export market especially in countries where brands bearing the Royal Warrant are highly valued, such as the Far East, China, USA, and the Commonwealth.
The earliest recorded English Royal Warrant was granted by Henry II to the Weavers’ Company in 1155, and many of the Royal Warrant holders date back centuries, some with fascinating stories of their journeys past and present.
Virtually every type of goods and service is covered by a Royal Warrant, from toothpaste to coal, brass to biscuits, perfume to pest control. There are paint and wallpaper manufacturers and suppliers, decorators and restorers for the Crown Estate and a supplier of executive toilet hire, Event-A-Loo.
There are also technology firms, catwalk fashion lines, cyber security specialists and foreign-owned luxury car brands, food and drink & condiments including Cadbury, Heinz, HP, Nestle, Tabasco Sauce, Marmite, Wilkin & Son Jam, and nine Champagne Houses.
Floris of London
Perfumier Floris, is the oldest English retailer of fragrance and toiletries, and is still family owned and run today by the 8th and 9th generation of the family.
Juan Famenias Floris, arrived in England from his native island of Menorca to seek his fortune in 1730, shortly after his arrival he secured premises in Jermyn Street, in the elegant quarter of London’s St. James’s as a barber and comb-maker.
The first Royal Warrant granted to J. Floris Ltd was in 1820, having been appointed as ‘Smooth Pointed Comb Makers‘ to King George IV soon after his accession. Today, this first Royal warrant is still on display at the Jermyn Street shop, together with no less than 19 others.
Floris holds two Royal Warrants: Perfumers to HM Queen Elizabeth II and Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Over the years they have provided fragrances for many well-known names past and present such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Sir Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, Eva Peron, Benedict Cumberbatch and Marilyn Monroe.
Founded by Edmund McIlhenny on Avery Island, Louisiana, Tabasco sauce was first produced in 1868. Tabasco was first exported to England in 1874.
Originally all peppers used in Tabasco sauce were grown on Avery Island. Today, peppers grown on the Island are used to produce seed stock, which is then shipped to foreign growers, primarily in Central and South America. Following company tradition, peppers are picked by hand. The process of producing one barrell of Tabasco sauce takes up to three years.
Tabasco was granted a Royal Warrant in 2009 by HM the Queen.
“We’re absolutely delighted to know that Tabasco sauce has a place at Her Majesty’s table,” said Paul McIlhenny, fourth-generation president and CEO of McIlhenny Company. “England has always been very loyal to us, consistently ranking among the top markets in international sales. This is indeed a proud moment in Tabasco history.”
HM the Queen toasted Marmite with a Royal Warrant in 2016. Marmite is the seventh product from Unilever that has received a Royal Warrant. Colman’s who are also owned by Unilever, received the Royal Warrant in 1866, and still holds it to this day.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have seven of our brands recognised in this way and only hope that the Royal Household continue to enjoy our brands well into the future. We’re especially pleased that Marmite’s ‘love it’ fan club now has Royal recognition,” said Anna Owen, the brand marketing manager for Unilever.
Prestat Purveyors of Chocolates
Prestat is one of London’s oldest chocolate shops. Prestat Ltd was established in 1902 by French émigré Antoine Dufour, who opened the first Prestat shop in South Molton Street in central London.
It has been awarded two Royal Warrants: One from Her Majesty The Queen (1975) and Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Prestat was the last warrant holder to be appointed by the Queen Mother in 1999.
“It’s a great badge of esteem. Being a Royal Warrant holder means you are part of an extraordinary club” says co- owner Nick Crean.
Apparently, The Queen Mother loved their chocolate mint fondants and Rose & violet chocolate cremes so much, that she kept a box by her chair and would say, ‘Put those other brands on the piano for the rabble’.
Gieves and Hawkes Tailors
Founded in 1771, Gieves and Hawkes is one of the oldest continual bespoke tailoring companies in the world. The business was originally based on catering to the needs of both the British Army and the Royal Navy, and hence the association with the British Royal family.
Since 1912, Gieves and Hawkes have been fashioning the red and gold uniforms of the Royal Bodyguard. ‘Each one takes over 110 hours to intricately stitch together’, said Matthew Crocker, who manages production of the military outfits.
Gieves & Hawkes presently have all three Royal Warrants: HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH The Prince of Wales.
Customers past and present include:
Winston Churchill, Admiral Lord Nelson, The Duke of Wellington, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, cricketer Tom Kerr-Sheppard, David Beckham, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Barbour has over 120 years of History, and Heritage.
The Barbour story began in 1894 in a Market Place in South Shields. Today, the 5th generation family owned business remains true to its roots, with Barbour’s headquarters located in Simonside, South Shields. Although it sources products from around the globe, Barbour’s classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in the factory in Simonside, and each year over 100,000 jackets are processed via the central subsidiary and local customer service operations.
Margaret Barbour took control of the Tyne-and-Wear-based company following the death of her husband, John Barbour, in the late 1960s when he was just 29.By then, the company had been handed down four generations since it was founded in 1894. Dame Margaret Barbour recalls “I had this great responsibility, almost you could call it a mission, to keep the company going.”
Margaret Barbour soon became a company director, working in all areas of the business before taking the chairman seat in 1973. John and Margaret Barbour’s daughter, Helen is the vice-chairman and a director of the Barbour board.
“We are still a family-owned company. I have a daughter and two grandsons. I don’t know what their futures are going to be but there is a wonderful company there for them,” says Margaret Barbour.
Members of the Royal Family have on several occasions made Barbour clothes their choice of country wear, further boosting the brand’s standing.
Barbour has three Royal Warrants: HM The Queen granted Barbour a Royal Warrant in 1974, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 1982, and HRH Prince of Wales in 1987.