Royal warrants confer status on a retailer. But how do you get one? And how do you lose one?
What are royal warrants?
Royal warrants are a mark of recognition to individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales.
Warrant holders may display the relevant royal arms and display ‘By Appointment’ on products, premises, stationery, vehicles, advertising and packaging. Waitrose displays the royal arms at Waitrose Belgravia and Windsor, on its lorries, and head office. It is displayed on stores according to their flagship status or proximity to royal households.
Who has got them?
There are about 850 royal warrant holders and 15 companies hold all three warrants.
Fashion retailers that hold royal warrants include Burberry and Austin Reed and department stores include John Lewis, Peter Jones and House of Fraser. Other retailers that hold at least one royal warrant are Carphone Warehouse, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.
Boots UK has been awarded two royal warrants from the Queen, one for Boots-manufactured products and another for the products it sells. It displays the royal arms on some of its products.
Boots Opticians also holds a royal warrant granted by The Duke of Edinburgh. Dollond & Aitchison, now merged with Boots, has a relationship with the royal family that goes back to 1768, when John Dolland was appointed optician to George III and Duke of York.
How do you get them?
Companies should have supplied the royals for at least five of the last seven years to be eligible for one.
Application is at no cost and forms are available from The Royal Warrant Holders Association.
How long are they awarded for?
Warrants are granted, usually for five years, to a named individual, who must be an executive director or partner and is personally responsible for ensuring the warrant is used correctly.
How do you lose them?
Between 20 and 40 royal warrants are lost each year. A royal warrant can be cancelled because the quality of the product or service is not up to standard, they are no longer required, or orders have dwindled.
Not buying from Harrods anymore was given as the official reason behind the withdrawal in 2000 of the royal warrant awarded by the Duke of Edinburgh. However, it was reported that Prince Philip was angered by Mohamed Al Fayed’s accusations that the Duke had been involved in the death of his son Dodi and Princess Diana.