Why the Queen’s Bra Fitter Was Stripped of Royal Warrant After 57 Years: ‘It’s a Real Shock'
Corsetiere to the royals for over half a century, Rigby & Peller have been stripped of their prestigious royal warrant after founder publishes autobiography
There’s a new job vacancy at the palace — and it involves an intimate relationship with none other than Queen Elizabeth.
Rigby & Peller, the luxury lingerie boutique that has fitted the Queen’s bras since 1960, was recently stripped of its prestigious royal warrant status, the Royal Warrant Holders Association confirms to PEOPLE.
While a spokesperson at the association declined to comment further on the details of the decision, they did confirm that it was made final last year — the same year that Rigby & Peller director June Kenton‘s autobiography, Storm In a D Cup, (which contains descriptions of fittings with royals like the Queen and Princess Diana) was published. Kenton was informed of the decision to strip Rigby & Peller of its warrant after the Lord Chamberlain sent a letter last year.
In the book, the now 82-year-old Kenton wrote about fittings in the Queen’s bedroom with the corgis running around at their feet. She also shared anecdotes of Princess Diana taking home posters of lingerie models from the store for Prince William and Prince Harry to hang on their walls. In interviews to promote the book, she spoke about private conversations she had with the Queen Mother regarding her daughter, Princess Margaret. Kenton admits she failed to send a copy of the book to the palace before it was published.
Kenton, who remains on the board of the brand after it was sold to Belgian company Van de Velde in 2011, issued a response to the news detailing her sadness at the loss of the warrant.
“I never thought when I was writing the book that it would upset anyone,” she said. “I’ve had the royal warrant for so long, I never imagined that this would happen. It’s horrible and a real shock.”
Rigby & Peller, which has over 30 stores in Europe and Asia, also issued a statement: “Rigby & Peller is deeply saddened by this decision and is not able to elaborate further on the cancellation out of respect for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Warrant Holders Association.”
Established in 1939, the brand was founded in London by female corsetieres Bertha Rigby and Gita Peller. Kenton and her husband bought the business in 1982 and built it into a luxury lingerie empire. The brand became so well-known that Kenton was dubbed the “Queen of Bras.” Besides their royal connection, the brand was best known for its signature (and unusual) bra-fitting technique of fitting by sight, rather than by tape measure.
A royal warrant of appointment is a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the Queen, Prince Philip or Prince Charles for at least five years. There are currently about 800 royal warrant holders — including companies like Land Rover, Barbour and Cartier — who are allowed to display the relevant royal arms in connection with the business.
Kenton’s daughter Jill showed her support for her mom on Thursday on Twitter.
“Through the media storm today, phones ringing off the hook and film crews and photographers at our door,” she wrote. “Everything is there for all to see, honest, loyal and head held high.”