Friday 11 March 2011

By Appointment to Her Majesty, The Queen...

Anyone with a observant eye who has spent even a short amount of time in the UK has no doubt seen the royal Coat of Arms displayed on shops and products ranging from broomsticks to champagne and maybe you've felt a bit smug that you've chosen the same place to shop or the same thing to buy as the Queen herself.. or maybe you didnt even know that you've just done exactly that! 

Coat of Arms with text underneath
The Coat of Arms is displayed on letterhead, shop fronts and the packaging of products themselves when a Royal Warrant of Appointment has been issued to the supplier of the product or service. Basically, its a way bragging that the Queen (or Prince Philip or Prince Charles depending on the coat of arms displayed) likes your stuff and you supply goods to the royal family. The next time you spot one, take a closer look at it... you will see the fancy coat of arms, then underneath it will usually say "By Appointment to..." followed by the name of the royal issuing the appointment and what goods are provided.  For instance, at John Lewis, the it will read "By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen as suppliers of haberdashery and household goods"

Approximately 800 individuals and companies hold more than 1,100 warrants to the Royal Family. Suppliers must have had a trading relationship with an individual in the family for at least five years before they can be considered for a warrant. They are awarded for renewable terms of five years, though they can be revoked at any time; some warrants have been held for more than 100 years. 

I suppose its important to mention that just because the Queen issued a Warrant of Appointment for some gin, for example, doesnt mean she actually drinks it - goods can be purchased by the issuer (or the grantor as they are called)  for use by guests as well as personal use. 

So what can you buy to be like Liz?  Here's a few of the more interesting Warrants of Apppointment:  (a full list can be found here or you can search the directory here)

Bacardi-Martini Ltd - Suppliers of martini vermouth
Robinsons Soft Drinks - Manufacturers of fruit squashes and barley waters
Bulmers - Manufacturers of cider (although I am sad to say that Strongbow also has a Warrant. What a shame)
Carphone Warehouse - Supplier of mobile phone communications
Corgi Hosiery Ltd - Manufacturers of hosiery
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare - Manufacturers of toothpaste for Prince Charles and Lucozade for the Queen.
Pots and Pithoi - Supplier of terracotta pots to Prince Charles. (who knew he was such a fan?)

Oh and do you shop at Boots?  So does Her Maj.   They hold a Warrant for being both her chemist and her dispensing optician (i.e she buys her way trendy glasses there) Who knew you and Liz had so much in common?


  1. Cool...I never knew that...See, this is why i follow your blog and have decided to share with you the Stylish Blogger Award that was given to me. Come on over and "pick it up."

  2. Can I have the Coat of Arms on my blog if she reads it - haha. So where will you be for the wedding?

  3. I'll be flying back from America the morning of the wedding, actually. I'll have to at least watch a bit of it, or my mother will disown me.

  4. Thanks for telling this interesting story, I just shopped in John Lewis, and got a bag printed this word. Although I didn't buy the warranted haberdashery nor household goods. Really knowledgable.