It’s the ultimate seal of royal approval: A royal warrant.
These warrants, handed out by the three most senior members of the royal family — Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Prince Charles — are one of the most prestigious accolades a business can get, particularly in Great Britain. A business that holds a royal warrant has provided goods or services to the Queen, Philip or Charles for at least five years. The concept of the royal warrant was first pioneered by King George III in the 1700s, and it’s something that’s been in place ever since.
Getting a royal warrant isn’t easy. You can’t just be a favorite product of a member of the royal family, it has to be the Queen, Charles or Philip. A business can’t rush the process of obtaining a royal warrant either — you have to be in their favor for five years. And of course, there’s the small matter of being noticed by the Queen, Philip or Charles in the first place — not an easy feat for a small business. Getting one isn’t a guarantee, either: Queen Elizabeth’s bra fitter of 57 years, Rigby & Peller, was stripped of their royal warrant in January 2018 after publishing details of the Queen’s bra fittings in a book.
Still, it’s an honor over 800 companies have had bestowed upon them, including quite a few you’re likely familiar with. In fact, you may already own a few of their products. Here is a guide to some of the best-known royal warrant holders and what products you can buy from them to feel like a royal!
Fortnum & Mason
One of London’s best-known storefronts, Fortnum & Mason is a British icon that holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The luxury department store, located in London’s Mayfair neighborhood sells teas, foods, coffees and other gifts. And if you head to their Mayfair location, you can also sit down for afternoon tea in The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. They also carry a number of royal-related teas, including the classic Royal Blend (first created for King Edward VII), the Jubilee blend, created for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and a brand new Wedding Bouquet blend, created in honor of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. The store has been around since 1707, and if you can’t make it to London, you can order their products from Williams Sonoma.
The London perfurmer has been operating out of the same London building on Jermyn Street — just a few doors down from Fortnum & Mason — since 1730. They create custom perfumes for landmark royal occasions (including Harry and Meghan’s wedding), but also allow customers to come in to blend their own personalized scent. Of course, they have plenty of signature options to choose from as well. They hold a royal warrant from the Queen and Prince Charles.
There aren’t many brands that are as synonymous with Great Britain — and the British royal family — as Barbour. Famous for their waxed jackets, the brand holds a royal warrant from the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Philip, and are a favorite for annual trips up to Balmoral. Their flagship London store is located in Covent Garden.
Gieves & Hawkes
Men’s clothing outfitter and tailor Gieves & Hawkes, which also calls London’s Mayfair neighborhood home, holds a royal warrant from Prince Philip. They’ve outfitted every monarch since King George III, and dressed the Queen for her coronation in 1953. They also dress the royal bodyguards, a ceremonial role for retired servicemen at state occasions.
While the bodyguards’s uniforms are kept upstairs, there’s a full store downstairs with off-the-rack items, as well as tailors in the basement working on custom orders.
Of course, Barbour jackets are best when accompanied by another classic British apparel item — Hunter boots! These classic Wellington boots (a.k.a. “Wellies”) are a favorite of royals from Prince Philip, who gave them their royal warrant, to royal-to-be Meghan Markle, who has been spotted in a deep green pair on the streets of Toronto. You can visit their store in London on Regent Street, right near Piccadilly Circus. (You can also purchase a pair online!)
Queen Elizabeth starts every morning off with a cup of Twinings English Breakfast tea. So it’s no surprise that the tea purveyors, who have been in business since 1706, when they opened Britain’s first-ever tea room, have a royal warrant from Her Majesty herself. You can still visit their original location, situated on the Strand in London.