royal warrant

Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier. The earliest recorded British royal charter was granted to the Weavers’ Company in 1155 by Henry II of England. Food and drinks suppliers have always been some of the most important warrant holders to the palace. Royal warrants are typically advertised on company hoardings, letter-heads and products by displaying the coat of arms or the heraldic badge of the royal personage issuing the royal warrant. In truth, offering royal warrants of appointment was a way for a monarch to obtain goods and services for free, because accounts once remained outstanding indefinitely. “The honour of supplying the Court is payment enough,” said one Permanent Private Secretary to an impoverished supplier. “Surely the prestige of hanging your monarch’s heraldic badge brings you in further business?” Nowadays of course such bills are settled promptly. The only suppliers who are kept waiting indefinitely are those poor unfortunates who supply supermarket chains!


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