By Royal Appointment

16 Aug, 2006 | GeneralTdp

Royal Warrants are handed out to suppliers of goods and services to the crown (notably Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke or Edinburgh and the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother).

It was started back in 1155, but wasn't really used as a sign of quality and prestige until the late 18th Century. Some companies have held them for a very long time, Schweppes for example, which triggered this post with a warrant on the side of a Lemonade bottle, was awarded theirs in 1837, the same year Twinings were awarded theirs. Cadbury's, which merged with Schweppes in 1969, was awarded their first Royal Warrant in 1854. The longest held warrant seems to go to John Broadwood and Sons, who have been supplying the Royals with instruments (namely Pianofortes) since 1740.

The Grantors, as they are known, are advised by the Lord Chamberlain who is head of the Royal Household and chairman of the Royal Household Tradesmen’s Warrants Committee. However, the final decision to grant a Royal Warrant is made by the member of the Royal Family concerned.

Each Grantor will only ever grant one Warrant to any individual business, but a business may hold Warrants from more than one Grantor. A handful of companies hold Warrants from all four.

Warrants are granted, usually for a period of five years, to a named individual within a firm, who must be an executive director or partner. This person, who is known as the Grantee, is personally responsible for ensuring that the Warrant is used correctly.

Warrant holders are allowed to display the Royal Arms together with the words ‘By Appointment’ on their stationery, buildings, vehicles, advertising and packaging. There are strict rules governing the use and display of the Royal Arms.

You can find out more and search the companies with warrants at the official Royal Warrant site.

When you think about it, it's the oldest form of celebrity endorsement there is, sod getting Michael Jordan selling your sneakers, get Prince Charlie dunking in them.