It must be nice for the monarchy. Sitting around all day, deciding what brand of marmalade comes out on top, which cars you’d like to be seen driving or which shoes you’d deign to slip on. And then, when you’ve plumped for your preferred preserves, motors and kicks, you can issue them a Royal Warrant — something we’re sure the brand would accept with open arms.
Because Royal Warrants are covetable things. Their worth is undeniable, incalculable and invaluable to those who hold them — and there are currently only 800 or so businesses that have this royal stamp of approval. Below, we’ve taken an alphabetical whirl through the aristocracy’s favourites — from the predictable to the unexpected to the downright odd…
A is for Angostura
It’s a long list, so let’s kick off with a stiff drink. Angostura — yes, they of the bitters — are up first, with a Royal Warrant granted by the Queen herself. Known for a signature oversized label and the odd, unfounded rumour that they might be poisonous, Angostura’s inky drink ingredient is a home bar’s secret weapon. It’s also a palace must-have — because there’s nothing less noble than an improperly mixed Pink Gin cocktail, ma’am.
B is for Bentley Motors
Actually, let’s hold off on that stiff drink — because up next is the pomping, circumstancing bastion of British motoring that is Bentley. And, although some of the royal family drive like they’ve been drinking (that’s a joke, for any libel lawyers out there), both the Queen and Prince Charles have granted warrants to the carmaker. The Queen’s motors are the most interesting; Custom State Bentleys bespoke from their kevlar-reinforced tyres to their Connolly leather interiors.
C is for Crockett & Jones
Prince Charles is surprisingly sprightly for a septuagenarian — and we put that down to his shoes. Northampton-based shoemakers Crockett & Jones have held a leather-uppered, Goodyear-welted, thoroughly Royal Warrant since 2017. They’re obviously top quality kicks — but it was probably Daniel Craig pulling on a pair in Skyfall that swung it for the Prince of Wales…
D is for Donald Russell
There was no being blind-sided by the horsemeat scandal for Her Majesty. No, the Queen has a direct line to Donald Russell; the tenderest, most traditional butchery brand in all of Britain. Up in Aberdeenshire, sharpening their cleavers and chewing the fat, a phalanx of stripy-aproned meat magicians spend their days awaiting a call from the palace. The question is: will HRH fancy a rib-eye or rump with her chips tonight?
E is for Eagle Sweet Peas
Serious question: Is there something we don’t know about sweet peas? Because the Queen is acting very shifty about these seeds. Not only does Her Maj have an official ‘Supplier of Sweet Pea Seeds’, but the Eagle Sweet Peas website is also quick to reassure customers that any purchases will remain ‘secure’. Who knows. Whatever summer-blooming conspiracy is going down, we’d still forgive it for a bunch of the Royal Wedding commemorative ‘William & Catherine’ blooms. Lovely.
F is for Firmin & Sons
Speaking of royal weddings, let’s give a big regal shout-out to Firmin & Sons; military uniform suppliers to much of the royal family. Your wedding might not be televised to tens of millions, but if you fancy a wedding hat like Harry’s, or a ceremonial sword like Prince Philip (you never know what trouble might break out at the buffet), this is the brand for you. Rather quaintly, the Queen also has a warrant with Firmin & Sons — for ribbons and buttons, of all things.
G is for Grant Chanter's Equine Dental and Bitting Services
You couldn’t make it up, could you? And yes, while most of us don’t have much need of a horse dentist, most of us aren’t members of the world’s most famous monarchy, either. Of all the royals, the Queen has the most horsey warrants on the go. And, to keep her ponies plaque-free and her fillies flossed, she’s issued one to Grant Chanter, Equine Dentist. It’s an odd job, but with a name like that, what else was he going to do?
H is for Holland & Holland
Who else were the royal family going to set their sights on when it came to gunmaking? Holland & Holland are craftsmen of the highest calibre, and have built rifles for the Duke of Edinburgh and bespoke shotguns for the Prince of Wales. And what guns they are. The stocks are hewn from the root bowls of Turkish walnut trees, and the steel sourced from Sheffield’s finest furnaces. They also make hip flasks — perfectly for ‘cherry brandy’ Charles. But we’ll get to that…
I is for Ian Carmichael
Imagine, for one ridiculous heightened second, what it must be like being HRH’s hairdresser. Does Ian Carmichael — who has been coiffing the Queen’s curls since the late nineties — chat about the soaps and his upcoming summer holiday? Does he pop on a playlist of the latest hits? Does he bring around a stack of old glossies for her to flick through under the standing dryer? Something for the weekend, Your Majesty?
J is for Jaguar Land Rover
Now we obviously can’t talk about ‘the incident’ — but we can rattle off a crash course on the British brand’s history with the royals. They first collided when the Queen’s father, King George VI, awarded Land Rover their first warrant in 1951. Since then, the royals have piled up a number of bespoke and custom cars through JLR’s SVO arm — who are still doing a smashing job to this day. Did we get away with that?
K is for Kinloch Anderson
Because what’s a good list without some draughty nether regions? K is for Kinloch Anderson and, more to the point, kilts. The Scottish tailor whips up some of the most tremendous tartan togs this side of Balmoral for the royals — and is one of the few brands to hold a warrant from Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Queen herself.
L is for Lea & Sandeman
Along with Corney & Barrow, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Justerini & Brooks and Walker & Wodehouse, Lea & Sandeman is one of the many established wine merchants to make the Royal Warrant cut. And wine, it seems, is a serious business for the monarchy. These brands may handle the reds and rosés, but there are also nine (?!) individual warrants out for Champagne alone, from Louis Roederer to Laurent-Perrier. We’ll raise a glass to that.
M is for the Maldon Crystal Salt Company
Now we’d take this with a pinch, but the Queen is allegedly rather partial to a flatfish dish. From sole to halibut, she can’t get enough of a seafood supper. And who better than Maldon to stump up the seasoning? With Big Tom spiced tomato mix also on the warrant list, perhaps she even sprinkles the brand’s salt flakes on her morning Bloody Mary. After all that Champagne, she’ll certainly be needing one…
N is for Neale Davies Painter and Decorator
It sounds like someone whose van is always blocking the drive at your parents’ house. But you won’t catch Neale Davies slumming it with an Artexing stippler or knocking up a granny annexe. No, he’s a high-end painter and decorator — on hand in Norfolk to ensure Sandringham always looks its Grade II-listed, Jacobethan best. Although we’re sure he could sort out your dodgy Stucco wall between his more regal responsibilities.
O is for Office Depot
Look, it’s a long list. They couldn’t all be interesting, could they? And, like it or lump it, scissors and staplers are a part of everyday life. As are pencils. We think the Queen is a 4H sort of woman; solid, dependable and reliable to the letter. Charles is probably the same. Prince Philip? Maybe a 2B; sometimes a bit tricky to understand and liable to snap at any minute.
P is for Paxton & Whitfield/Period Piano Company
The Queen herself is the original ‘Q’ brand — so it stands to reason that there aren’t any other beginning with her letter on the list. But that’s okay, it means we can plump for two Ps instead. And what choice there is.
First up, we’ve gone for Paxton & Whitfield; Britain’s oldest and leading cheesemongers. But we’d also like to give the Period Piano Company a melodious mention — royal restorers of palace pianos and harpsichords. And nothing goes better with a nice slice of Stilton than a half-remembered recital of ‘Chopsticks’.
R is for Roberts Radio
It’s been almost 80 years since the Queen made her first radio broadcast. Think of that. She took to the waves during the war, addressing and comforting the children of the Commonwealth. Roberts Radios were founded around the same time, in a small London lock-up. Today, they hold warrants from both the Queen and Prince Charles. We imagine the Queen likes Smooth, or maybe Gold. Charles? Definitely a Capital man.
S is for Shepherd Neame
We’ve all got our guilty pleasures at the bar. A pitcher of Woo-Woo over a pint of stout. A Malibu and orange over a scotch neat. Even Prince Charles has a shameful secret. In 1963, when he was underage, he ordered a Cherry Brandy at the bar of Stornoway’s Crown Hotel — and was overheard by a tabloid journalist. He may be notoriously bitter about the incident, but he still gave a royal warrant Shepherd Neame. Britain’s oldest brewer they may be, but the warrant for ‘Special Orders’ is almost certainly for Grant’s Morella Cherry Brandy.
T is for Turnbull & Asser
Everyone loves a lazy Bond film on a Sunday afternoon — especially, it seems, Prince Charles. And he almost certainly pretends to be 007 himself in the mirror. After all, not only does the Prince of Wales walk in Crockett & Jones shoes, but he’s also issued warrants to Aston Martin and Floris perfumers. Even his shirtmaker, the inimitable Turnbull & Asser, has buttoned up Bonds from Connery to Craig.
U is for United Biscuits
Ever wondered what the Queen’s preferred dunking biscuit is? We know it keeps us awake at night. Well, worry no longer. United Biscuits are a Royal Warrant holder, and they make the three most dunkable biscuits in the biz — Chocolate Digestives, Hobnobs and Rich Teas. Of course, this warrant could also mean the Queen’s a Jaffa Cake connoisseur, or goes crackers for Jacob’s Creams. But we hope it’s none of the above — and like to imagine Her Maj popping open a bag of those most Marmitey treats; Twiglets.
V is for Viking Saddlery
Take a guess at how many saddlers hold Royal Warrants. One? Two? No, it’s a grand, tanned-leather total of six. But what do you expect from a family with their own equine dentist on speed dial? Viking sits alongside Gibson and Buttons Saddlers on this illustrious shortlist — and keeps the Queen safely and stably stirrupped from the rugged grounds of Balmoral to the tracks of Windsor Park.
W is for Wilkin & Sons
Many things are the preserve of the Queen. Breaking speed limits. Travelling without a passport. Two birthday cakes every year. And preserves. Preserves are also the preserve of the Queen. Specifically, Wilkin & Sons preserves. The Tiptree-based brand have been sending marmalades, curds and chutneys into the jam-packed larders of Buckingham Palace since 1911 — and have been the toast of its toast ever since.
X is for Xerox
Now this is a surprising one. Not the warrant itself — everybody needs photocopies — but because of who granted it. Prince Charles was the one to give Xerox the nod, and we’d have put money on it being one of the more wayward, scandal-prone royals. Flippant Philip, perhaps — or fancy dress-era Harry. Because you can be sure the royals aren’t making their own copies — and there’s only one other thing you use a Xerox machine for…
Y is for Yara
Something stinks about this Royal Warrant. But don’t worry, it’s not a whiff of corruption or a sniff of nepotism. It’s the stuff itself. Yara provides the agricultural fertilisers for the aristocracy, shipping out sulphurous mulch and manure all over the country. It may not be pretty, but we’ve got to keep this land green and pleasant somehow.
Z is for Zack Treliving
If Crockett & Jones is on hand (or should that be foot?) to ensure our royals put their best feet forward, shouldn’t their horses feel the benefits, too? Falling just shy of the six saddlers on the monarchy’s books, five farriers keep these well-heeled ponies well-shoed — and Zack Treliving is one of the best; a man who shoed Olympic horses and has gained a royal stamp of approval from the Queen herself.
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