This article was co-written by Rebecca Gallagher, Trainee Solicitor.
It’s Jubilee Week! As the Queen becomes the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, across the country people will be celebrating with picnics and street parties. We wonder, what too will they be eating and drinking in the Royal Households? Some of the Royal Household’s favourite food and beverages are distinguished with the Royal Warrant and, today, we look at the history of the Royal Warrant and whether it is still relevant in this Platinum Jubilee year.
What is a Royal Warrant?
Royal Warrants of Appointments were introduced in the 15th century and were granted as a mark of recognition to people or companies who regularly supplied goods or services to the Royal Family. Today, they are granted only by the HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales and their households. There are over 800 Royal Warrant holders across a wide range of categories, with one of the largest being food and drink. More than 100 Royal Warrants are currently granted to food and drink companies, who have supplied their products for more than five years.
What does it mean for food and drink companies?
A Royal Warrant was a sign of quality and prestige – if it is good enough for the Royal Family, it is good enough for you and me. Companies may use their Royal Warrants as an effective marketing tool, by displaying the Royal Arms or Badge on their products. For food and drink companies, in particular, being granted a Royal Warrant brought added value to a brand and often created a positive consumer and trading interest.
How relevant is a Royal Warrant today?
Many companies take pride in their Royal Warrants. However, with the fall of many traditional establishment icons, including the Royal Family, have the Royal Warrants lost some of their value?
Have Instagram and Facebook taken over as marketing tools – with endorsements from influencers being more appealing? For example, luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover no longer display the arms and “By Appointment” wording on their websites.
The UK economy is also now less based on manufacturing and more on professional services. However, professional service providers are not eligible for Royal Warrants, which would suggest that the system is becoming less relevant and outdated.
Another criticism is that the Royal Warrant can only be granted by the Queen and Prince Charles and their favourite products may not appeal to younger generations. With the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, there has been speculation that HRH The Prince of Cambridge might become the next Royal Warrant grantor. If this is the case, then he may bring a fresh approach to the granting Royal Warrants, which may widen the products which are granted warrants and appeal more to the buying public.
We look forward to seeing the future development of the Royal Warrant. In the meantime, we will raise a glass and wish Her Majesty a very happy Platinum Jubilee.