Wait, This Ketchup Brand Has a Stamp of Approval from the Royal Family?!
Royal history lesson: Every monarch for the past several centuries has put their official stamp of approval on a handful of their favorite items, a distinction that's known as a Royal Warrant. Typically, these are companies or brands that the king or queen deems to be suitable suppliers to the royal family and have been engaged in business with them for at least five years.
In exchange for these goods (which include everything from ketchup to undergarments), the warrant holders are allowed to advertise their royal status for everyone to see, giving them a definitive edge over their competitors. To date, Queen Elizabeth has issued 686 of these royal warrants; Prince Philip, 38; and Prince Charles, 159. Here, our favorite picks from the extensive list of royal family-approved brands, as well as two companies that—*gasp*—had their royal approval revoked.
- Burberry: Granted in 1956, the luxury fashion brand is the rain slicker and trench coat brand of choice for the royals—plaid optional.
- Cadbury: Yep, like the delicious chocolate eggs. Cabury is actually the largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars. Its warrant was granted in 1969.
- Cartier: A Princess Diana fave, the megawatt jeweler was handed a royal warrant in 1904 after Edward VII (QEII’s great-grandfather) ordered a casual 27 tiaras from what he referred to as “the jeweler of kings and queens.”
- Heinz: The Pittsburgh-founded ketchup mainstay received its warrant by the queen in 1951, although it’s most likely due to the Briton’s love for Heinz’s Worcestershire and HP sauces (the latter of which was named after London’s Houses of Parliament).
- Hunter Boots: Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the “original” Wellington boot company was founded in 1856 and confirmed for official puddle stomping by both the queen and Prince Philip in 1977.
- Jaguar Land Rover: Those royals and their fancy Range Rovers… The UK's largest premium automotive manufacturing business holds a nod of approval from the queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles. (Obviously, this was granted before Philip had to give up his license.)
- Nestlé: The sweets brand has held a royal warrant since 1905. Around 97 percent of UK households consume Nestlé brands and more than $465 million worth of its products are sold there every year.
- Samsung: So, does this mean the royals have Samsung phones for all their Fab Four group chats, then? Notoriously private about their technology, the royal family did bestow the South Korean electronics giant with three royal warrants in 2012.
- Swarovski: The Markle Sparkle is totally on board with this one. Granted in 2019, Swarovski is the official jeweler to Queen Elizabeth.
- Corgi Hosiery: Founded in 1892 as a producer of socks for Welsh miners, the company moved on to outfitting the feet of British troops during World War II. (And the name doesn’t hurt the company’s case either, considering the queen owns approximately a bajillion corgis.)
- Unilever: The British-Dutch company owns a breadth of brands, from food and beverages to personal care (like Dove, Ben & Jerry’s and Lipton), that it supplies to the queen. We wonder if Her Highness is a Half Baked junkie, too.
- Bacardi-Martini: We’re so not surprised that the world’s largest privately-owned and family-run spirit company made the cut in 1962 for its sparkling wine and vermouth, especially since Queen Elizabeth is said to have four cocktails a day (one of which is sparkling wine).
- Twinings Tea: The royals have doled out warrants to four different tea companies (those Brits sure do love tea time!), but Twinings is the largest and oldest, having occupied the same premises on the Strand in London since 1706.
- Walkers Shortbread: Scotland’s biggest exporter of food is the official supplier of oatcakes and shortbread to the royal family. Because what’s a cuppa tea without a good biscuit?
And Two that Lost Their Royal Warrants…
- Rigby & Peller Bras: The company received a royal warrant to be the royals’ supplier of undergarments in 1960, but lost the title in 2017 after June Kenton, “corsetiere” to the queen, released a memoir titled Storm in a D-Cup, in which she gave intimate details about her royal visits.
- Harrods: The largest department store in Europe (and an iconic London landmark) received a triple royal warrant in 1910 that was rescinded by Duke of Edinburgh in 2000. While the palace cited the "significant decline in the trading relationship" between the Duke and the store as the reason for withdrawal, it’s also worth nothing that Harrods’ owner, Mohamed al Fayed, publicly accused Prince Philip of masterminding the infamous 1997 Paris car crash that killed Princess Diana and Mohamed’s son, Dodi Fayed.