n an age of TikTok celebrity ad campaigns and #gifted product content, an honest and strictly regulated stamp of approval is perhaps more valuable than ever. Cue Her Majesty The Queen, the original influencer, and a rare celebrity endorsement you can actually trust. For everything from umbrellas to perfume to sports cars, the Queen dishes out official Royal Warrants for the goods she and her household use.
British monarchs have been issuing these since the 15th century, but it wasn’t until 1840 that a young Queen Victoria felt the need to stop imposters cashing in on the royal name, creating a strict set of rules and criteria. She and Prince Albert were big fans of the Royal Warrant idea, and she issued nearly 2,000 to British businesses during her 63-year tenure.
Still, getting hold of one is not as easy as the Queen simply saying she uses a product or service. A brand must have supplied either herself or the Prince of Wales (and, before his passing, the Duke of Edinburgh) for at least five of the last seven years to be considered. Even when a Royal Warrant is eventually granted, it’s up for review every five years, and can be taken away if the company is no longer up to scratch. Whether the business is an international fashion house or a supplier of marmalade, the process of receiving and retaining the endorsement is the same. Most importantly, the relationship between the Royal Warrant giver and receiver must always be commercial, not gifted.
Perhaps this is why, when we look inside our Burberry trench coat, Hunter wellies or Musto sailing jacket and see 'By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen' stitched into the lining, it still feels like the real deal. As the Queen celebrates her landmark Platinum Jubilee this June, we take a look at some of the best Royal Warranted brands you can visit across London.
The Goring Hotel, Belgravia
By appointment to: The Queen for Hospitality Services
The Goring is the only hotel in London (and the world, for that matter) to have been granted a Royal Warrant, and the Duchess of Cambridge chose to stay there the night before her wedding. Grand and majestic, it’s also the only five-star hotel in London that is owned and run by the family that built it (the Goring family, 112 years ago), and the closest to Buckingham Palace. To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it's created a traditional afternoon tea menu, various coronation-inspired dishes, and a garden installation showing the Royal Family’s favourite plants and flowers. For a splash-out hotel stay in London, The Goring is well-placed within strolling distance of the Royal Parks and some of the city’s best shops, theatres and galleries.
Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly
By appointment to: The Queen as a Grocer and Provision Merchant and The Prince of Wales as a Tea Merchant and Grocer
More in the way of afternoon tea, it doesn’t get more quintessentially British than the Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason, opened by the Queen herself to mark her last jubilee. Fortnum’s has had close ties with the royals since day one – it was founded when Queen Anna gave her footman William Fortnum permission to sell on discarded candles from St James’s Palace in 1707 – and currently holds two Royal Warrants. Aside from beautifully packaged loose leaf tea and wicker hampers laden with goodies, the Food Hall is a wonderful place to discover start-up food brands and artisanal producers.
Partridges London, Chelsea
By appointment to: The Queen as a Grocer
The official grocers to Her Majesty, this decadent food store in Chelsea (think lavish cheese selections, foie gras and whole sides of gravadlax) has in recent years become better known for the vibrant Duke of York Square Fine Food Market held every Saturday, where street food and champagne draw in the Sloane Square brigade. On Saturday 4 June, the King's Road will be pedestrianised for a huge street party, with a Royal Commonwealth Market curated by Partridges, live music and festivities.
Lock & Co Hatters, St James's
By appointment to: The Prince of Wales as a Hatter
Aside from boasting a Royal Warrant from Prince Charles, Lock & Co has two other impressive claims: it is the oldest hat shop in the world, and the oldest shop in London. For 345 years, the original store on 6 St James’s Street has worked with the best felts, tweeds, cloth, and cashmere fabrics to cover the heads of London’s great and good. Behind a tiny, unassuming shop front, a rabbit's warren of classic and modern hats makes for a totally unique shopping experience.
Turnbull & Asser, St James's
By appointment to: The Prince of Wales as a Shirtmaker
The men of the royal household – Princes Phillip, Charles, William, and latterly even little George and Louis – have long been icons of classic British gentleman’s attire. It’s no surprise therefore that timeless brands such as Turnbull & Asser are their shirtmakers of choice. Known for its made-to-measure service, as well as off the hanger evening shirts, the Jermyn Street outfitter also sells tailored smoking jackets, suits and even pyjamas.
John Lobb, St James's
By appointment to: The Prince of Wales as a Bootmaker
St James's has long been a hotspot for Royal Warrants when it comes to men’s clothing – but it’s also the place to go in London for classic shoes. Such is the case with John Lobb, a name which has been synonymous with traditional English craftsmanship and fine, handmade boots for over 170 years. Still run by the Lobb family, the shoemakers famously fashion each pair of shoes uniquely to each foot and lower leg, keeping a wooden ‘foot tree’ for each bespoke client in their archives below ground.
Burberry, across London
By appointment to: The Queen as a Weatherproofer and The Prince of Wales as an Outfitter
Royal Warrants are not reserved for small, family-run artisanal companies; even The Queen isn’t immune to the attractions of a brand like Burberry. Officially, the British fashion house is credited as 'Weatherproofers' to The Queen and 'Outfitters' to the Prince of Wales, supplying the outdoors-y gear they so famously love. To mark the Platinum Jubilee, Burberry has designed a limited edition silk scarf, inspired by ancient British woodlands and the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Molton Brown, across London
By appointment to: The Queen as a Supplier of Toiletries
Ever wondered which hand soap the Queen has in her downstairs loo? Well, it’s likely to be Molton Brown, whose collection of signature fragrances, bath and shower gels, home and hand care luxuries have claimed the Royal Warrant for 'Supplier of Toiletries' since 2013. Rumour has it that you’ll find a set of its Orange & Bergamot hand wash and lotion in the bathrooms at Balmoral.
Clarins, across London
By appointment to: The Queen as a Manufacturer of Skin Care and Cosmetics
Clarins is one of those rare beauty brands that spans all generations, with iconic products such as the Beauty Flash Balm and Double Serum gracing the wash bags of young and old alike. The Queen appointed Clarins as her official 'Manufacturers of Skin Care and Cosmetics' long ago, but the love affair doesn’t stop there: in 1953, she actually commissioned the brand to create a shade of lipstick to match her coronation robes for her ceremony. In tribute to the monarch and long-standing supporter, Clarins recently launched a Platinum Jubilee Hand & Nail Cream duo, scented with Japanese Mulberry extract. Yes, the brand may technically hail from Neuilly-sur-Seine in France but, with a history like this (and a London HQ), we think it deserves a place on this plist.
Floris, St James's
By appointment to: The Queen as a Perfumer and The Prince of Wales as Manufacturer of Toilet Preparations
Floris is known to be the Queen's go-to perfume brand, with unconfirmed rumours that she favours their signature White Rose scent. What is confirmed is that she wore a Floris scent on her wedding day (as did Meghan Markle, incidentally), and that it haz been her official 'Perfumers' ever since her coronation. Floris was first appointed 'Smooth Pointed Comb Maker' to King George IV in 1820, with a handful more Royal Warrants in between. To mark the Jubilee, Floris has launched a limited edition woody scent called Platinum 22 Eau de Parfum, inspired by the royal gardens.
Mappin & Webb, across London
By appointment to: The Queen as a Jewellers, Goldsmith and Silversmith and to The Princes of Wales as a Silversmith
Old-school jewellery and watch shop Mappin & Webb has been a warranted silversmith to the past five monarchs, but in 2017 it was finally promoted to the position of the Crown Jeweller: custodian of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. For us mere mortals, its three London stores (Soho, Regent Street and the City of London) are a fabulous place to peruse new and vintage Rolexes and shop for silver-plated cutlery, diamond-studded jewellery and gifts.
Cartier, across London
By appointment to: The Prince of Wales as a Jeweller and Goldsmith
Much has been speculated about the Queen’s favourite leather-strapped watch, worn when she’s dressing more casually, but the brand has never been revealed. Still, experts reckon it might be a bespoke vintage Cartier Tank, and the association has stuck. The French jeweller set up shop in London just in time for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, and have been a family favourite ever since: King George VI bought his wife many pieces from Cartier, the Duke of Windsor purchased Wallis Simpson a sapphire brooch from the brand in 1949, while the Duchess of Cambridge famously favours her Cartier Ballon Bleu. Cartier has a handful of shops across London, but the Bond Street flagship is the most magnificent.
Garrard & Co, Mayfair
By appointment to: The Prince of Wales as Jeweller, Goldsmith and Silversmith
Garrard may recently have lost its position as Crown Jeweller (to Mappin & Webb, see above), but the historic jeweller is still as lustrous and sparkling as ever. From Queen Mary’s consort crown to Princess Diana’s engagement ring, the Mayfair goldsmith has crafted some of the most famous royal jewels of all time. Garrard is also the UK’s only fully independent jeweller, meaning it does every aspect of jewellery creation in-house, from sourcing diamonds to cutting and setting them.
Asprey London, Mayfair
By appointment to: The Prince of Wales as a Jeweller and Silversmith
For fine leather goods – wallets, purses, journals, briefcases and so on – Asprey is as classic as it is versatile. The company started out making leather trunks and travelling cases in 1781, but over the centuries has become a go-to for timeless investment pieces. Its showroom on Bruton Street, just a stone’s throw from Burlington Arcade, is filled with rare coloured diamonds and luxurious handmade goods, and well worth a visit.
Berry Bros and Rudd, St James's
By appointment to: The Queen and The Prince of Wales as a Wine & Spirits Merchant
When it comes to procuring booze, Berry Bros and Rudd has long been the go-to for the monarchs. In fact, as Britain’s oldest wine merchant, the firm has supplied the British Royal Family since the reign of King George III in 1760. Today, the family business holds two Royal Warrants, for both The Queen and Prince Charles, but is never one to rest on its laurels. With a predominantly female leadership under Lizzy Rudd and a strong focus on sustainability, it's marking the Jubilee with a limited-edition, capsule-free Good Ordinary Claret which will see a percentage of profits go to the Queen’s Green Canopy and Woodland Heritage Trust.