What is a Royal Warrant?
A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a document that permits a company to use the Royal Arms in connection with its business in an appointed trading capacity. It is granted for up to five years at a time as a mark of recognition for the ongoing supply of goods or services to the Royal Household.
The Monarch decides who may grant Royal Warrants. These are known as the Grantors: HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, all granted Royal Warrants. The Warrant is granted to a named individual within a company, known as the Grantee, who is responsible for the correct use of the relevant Royal Arms.
Upon a change of Monarch, the Royal Household reviews Warrant grants, while the company or individual may continue to use the Royal Arms in connection with the business for up to two years.
Today there are around 800 holders of Royal Warrants of Appointment representing a huge cross-section of trade and industry, from individual craftspeople to global multi-nationals. They are united by a commitment to the highest standards of service, quality, excellence and craftsmanship.
The history of the Royal Warrant can be traced back to medieval times, when competition for Royal favour was intense and the Monarch had the pick of the country's best tradespeople. By the 15th century, the Lord Chamberlain, as head of the Royal Household, formally appointed tradespeople with a Royal Warrant of Appointment – a practice that continues to this day.
In the 18th century, Royal tradesmen began displaying the Royal Arms on their premises and stationery. In 1840, the Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed. Scroll through the timeline to discover some highlights from the history of the Royal Warrant, stretching back from the present day to its early origins.