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It is possibly the highest honour any brand, label, retailer or service (yet not professional) could hold, and one that is often instantly recognisable to many consumers – it is of course, the Royal Warrant. With the eyes of the world on Windsor for the wedding of the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex, many visitors – and many people watching at home – would have bought or consumed something that holds a Royal Warrant; Moet & Chandon champagne for example, or perhaps watched the Royal Wedding on a Samsung TV. Both of these companies hold a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen.

Far from being a new honour bestowed by The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales, the granting of royal patronage or royal charter was practised across Europe from the early Medieval period where it was mainly granted to those working in the arts – painters and sculptresses  for example. However, what is commonly known as a Royal Charters started to replace royal patronage in around the 12th century. The earliest charters were granted to the trade guilds – forgers, builders – with the first recorded British royal charter being granted to the Weavers’ Company in 1155 by Henry II of England.

Whilst it is often presumed that products bought from a company holding a Royal Warrant maybe out of the grasp of many, here are my favourite stores, brands, labels and providers that I am both a fan of and have used or own which will make you feel like a prince but will not break the bank.

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WHAT: J Barbour & Sons LTD

WHO: Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales

WHY: Commonly known as Barbour, the ‘Manufacturers of Waterproof & Protective Clothing’, the South-Shields based brand’s waxed jackets have reached iconic status – amongst town and country folk alike. Now more of a lifestyle brand than stuffy outfitters, the Barbour presentation is one of the most sought after tickets at London Fashion Week Mens – and I am the proud owner of one of their Limited Edition Dept B jackets, as worn by James Bond in the 2012 film Skyfall.

HOW MUCH: A pair of very comfy socks start at £11, with their famed jackets retailing for around £300.

Berry Bros and Rudd

WHAT: Berry, Bros & Rudd

WHO: Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales

WHY: I absolutely love this place; and it is a dream haven for wine and spirit lovers the city and world over. ‘Wine and Spirit Merchants’ to the Royal Family since the reign of King George III, it is the oldest of such merchants having traded in the same St. James Street, London location since 1698. The original store is simply beautiful and their new extension is a gentleman’s paradise with aromas of oak barrels combined with Merlot soaked cork. Trust me, it is divine. I’m a huge fan, and so is my father who often gets a decent bottle bought for him on celebration days.

HOW MUCH: Their own brand gin is a steal at £25, and their excellent own brand ‘house red’ is £8.75.  Average for a really nice bottle is £20 yet the sky is the limit here.

Corgi

WHAT: Corgi Hosiery Ltd

WHO: The Prince of Wales

WHY: I adore their socks, and so does Prince Charles amongst other items. Since 1892, Corgi has been producing socks and knitwear of the very highest quality at their factory in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales. Using only the finest yarns and manufacturing methods handed down through the generations, the ‘Knitwear and Hosiery Manufacturers’ strive to maintain the uncompromising commitment to quality.

HOW MUCH: Socks start at £13, with stunning knitted scarfs retailing at £150.

Dents

WHAT: Dents

WHO: The Prince of Wales

WHY: I own a lovely Dents wallet which I got for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it is almost as pristine as the day it was received – the quality is incredible. Officially ‘Manufacturer of Gloves’ there is far more to the company than just handwear and their skill with leather is renowned. Based around 5 minutes from my parents house in Wiltshire in the market town of Warminster, Dents has manufactured fine leather gloves for 240 years, having been established in Worcester in 1777.

HOW MUCH: Leather drivers start at £39, whilst their great wallets and cardholders start at a very affordable £22.

Gieves and Hawkes

WHAT: Gieves & Hawkes Ltd 

WHO: The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales

WHY: As the quintessential British luxury brand for men, Gieves & Hawkes has over two centuries of trading history, and for over 100 years has resided at its iconic London address, No. 1 Savile Row. The history of Gieves & Hawkes is the story of two separate houses, both established in the 18th century. Gieves became a celebrated supplier of the British Royal Navy and Hawkes of the British Army, with its first Royal Warrant being awarded in 1799. The two companies then came together in 1974 to become known as Gieves & Hawkes. You can even try on The Queen’s cloak in one of their rooms upstairs.

HOW MUCH: A white business shirt is £125 whilst their ties start at £95.

John Smedley

WHAT: John Smedley Ltd

WHO: Her Majesty The Queen 

WHY: ‘Manufacturer of Fine Knitwear’,  John Smedley was as founded in 1784, having manufactured the finest knitwear at Lea Mills in Derbyshire for more than 230 years. Famed for their beautiful fine guge knitwear, they also produce long-johns for The Queen. To read more about the company and see inside their factory a short drive from Nottingham, click here.

HOW MUCH: Pick up a stunning 30 guge t-shirt for £110, or a sweater from £160. 

lock and co

WHAT: James Lock & Co Ltd 

WHO: The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales 

WHY: As ‘Hatters’ to the two most senior males in the Royal Family, the St James Street, London store is a store like no other – part hat shop, part museum to the finest and most famous of heads in history. Having been in business for 340 years, they still do traditional top and bowler hats –  a style they invented – but their collection of baseball caps are great – and I own a couple!

HOW MUCH: Contemporary styles start at £95 whilst more traditional pieces start at £250. 

Selfridges

WHAT: Selfridges & Co Ltd 

WHO: Her Majesty The Queen

WHY: As ‘Suppliers of Food & Household Goods’ to Her Majesty, one can only imagine what items are obtained from the Grand Dame of Oxford Street. The store needs no introduction, however it is a shame that there is no true department store that holds her warrant although a lot of items within do.

HOW MUCH: As little as £5.

Smythson

WHAT: Frank Smythson Ltd 

WHO: Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales

WHY: Simply known as Smythson of Bond Street, the humble yet very smart stationers to Royals, aristocrats and the great and good of society the world over (and myself, from paper to diaries) was established in 1887. Smythson has come to represent more than 125 years of British luxury leather goods at their most refined, using the highest quality, carefully sourced leathers. Ranging from its unrivalled, iconic bespoke stationery to an extensive collection of leather goods including fashion, travel and business and technology accessories, each piece bears Smythson’s unmistakable trademark of optimum quality, functionality and exquisite craftsmanship.

HOW MUCH: Writing paper starts at £10 for 50 sheets, and their famed diary’s start at £35 for the pocket version.

The Ritz London

WHAT: The Ritz Hotel (London) Ltd

WHO: The Prince of Wales

WHY: Known for their strict dress code and imposing building on Piccadilly, The Ritz hotel has made my list as it is the only hotel I have been to on the list (the other is The Goring, by Appointment to The Queen). I’m not a huge fan, preferring Claridges, however it is the only hotel in London who’s kitchen has a Michelin star which means that every item of food made there is of star quality. This is unlike others who have guest restaurants who have a different preparation space to say, room service or the breakfast. Awarded a warrant by Prince Charles for ‘Banqueting and Catering Services’ I do want to experience at least one lunch their in my lifetime.

HOW MUCH: From £8 plus service for a cup of tea in The Rivoli Bar, from £57 for the eponymous Afternoon Tea and one nights stay from £395.

 

Written by Danhasbyoliver

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