The Royal Warrant In The United Kingdom
To serve the Royal Court has been the highest aspiration of tradesmen and craftsmen for centuries, ever since in 1155 King Henry II gave a Royal Charter to the Weavers’ Company. During the 15th Century tradespeople started to be officially recognised with the Royal Warrant of Appointment.
The Royal Warrant is a sign of quality, excellence and patronage officially given by the Lord Chamberlain which indicates that there is an established trade relation between the Royal family member granting the Warrant and the company who receives it. Businesses granted with this document were - and still are - allowed to display the Royal Arms and the legend ‘by appointment’ advertising the fact that they supply the Royal Family; thus giving prestige to the supplier.
To apply for such a recognition, a brand must have provided goods or services on request to the Royal Household for a minimum of five years.
After being abolished during the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell, the Royal Warrant got re-established by Charles II in 1660. One of the first silversmiths appointed was Paul de Lamerie who was granted the Royal Warrant in 1716 by King George I (1714 -1727).
Paul Storr was certainly the most famous silversmith receiving the Royal Warrant by George III (1760 - 1820). His magnificent pieces are nowaday displayed in the most important museums of the world.
During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901) around 2000 shops were granted the Royal Warrant, from silversmiths and jewellers to tea merchants. Among the silversmiths appointed it is worth to mention at least Elkington & Co., Garrard & Co., Hunt & Roskell, Philipp Rundell & John Bridge.
To apply for such a recognition, a brand must have provided goods or services on request to the Royal Household for a minimum of five years before they can apply.
To oppose the improper use of the Royal Arms and protect the rights of the Royal Warrant holders in 1840 the Royal tradesmen’s association was founded. At the same time the rules to apply tightened up.
Nowadays there are around 800 Royal Warrant Holders.
Although in this article we focused on the British Royal Warrants, there are other monarchies granting similar acknowledgments, such as the Royal family of Denmark, Sweden and Netherlands.
In a further post we will talk about the Russian Imperial Warrant.