Launer, Twinings, Barbour… The Queen’s favorite brands lose the royal seal

Launer, Twinings, Barbour... The Queen's favorite brands lose the royal seal

Hundreds of brands have the right to place the royal seal on their products. But they must now wait for the approval of the new monarch, Charles III, to keep it.

Fortnum & Mason teas, Burberry raincoats, but also beans and dog food: with the death of Elizabeth II, the queen’s 600 favorite brands lose the royal warrant and must now await the approval of the new monarch. If they do not win the favors of Charles III, they will have two years to remove the seal that marks them as regular suppliers to the royal family. As a prince, Charles had already bestowed it on more than 150 marks.

Above all, it is a guarantee of quality: “the beneficiaries of a royal warrant receive a magnificent document and the right to place the appropriate royal seal on their products”, simply states the Association of Royal Warrant Holders. But for some of these companies, their ties to royalty are a strong selling point, though it’s hard to measure the real impact on sales.

No preferential rates

Fortnum & Mason, tea supplier to the royal family, ensures in all its communication “to be proud to have held a warrant from Her Majesty since 1954, and to have served it with the rest of the royal family all her life”. The luxury grocer, who claims that her “Royal blend” tea was created for King Edward in 1902, will not lose her mandate, since she also holds a mandate awarded by Prince Charles. Another big name in tea, the Twinings brand is also one of the suppliers of the royal family.

Among the other brands that benefit from their association with the queen, the Dubonnet wine-based aperitif, one of the two ingredients of her favorite cocktail, the Dubonnet & Gin, according to the British press. In terms of clothing and accessories, Launer, which sells handbags with which the queen was inseparable, prided itself on supplying the sovereign since 1968 but now risks losing its precious cachet. By contrast, Barbour jackets, particularly suited to the capricious weather of the United Kingdom, were prized by Charles III as they were by his mother.

The brands do not pay any royalties for this prestigious mandate, nor do they provide the Crown for free or at preferential rates. For those who are less associated with the queen in the collective imagination, the mandate is “above all the recognition of know-how and tradition”, explains to AFP Christian Porta, deputy general manager of Pernod. Ricard, who owns Dubonnet.

The French wine and spirits multinational has two mandates, for Dubonnet but also for Mumm champagne (the royal family, very fond of champagne, also grants its seal to Bollinger, Krug, Lanson, Laurent-Perrier, Louis Roederer, Moet & Chandon, and Veuve Clicquot).

Beans in tomato sauce

Consumer brands also have the royal mandate, such as Heinz, known for its ketchup and especially its white beans in tomato sauce adored by the British, or a variety of dog food. For Kellogg’s cereals, “it’s good for an American brand like ours to establish itself in the United Kingdom”, explains Paul Wheeler, in charge of the brand’s communication for the United Kingdom.

According to him, Kellogg’s has been supplying the royal family continuously since the end of the reign of George VI, the father of Elizabeth II: “We had a truck dedicated to the delivery of the royal family, which traveled from our factory to the palace , and who was nicknamed Geneviève”, he says. From now on, the criteria for obtaining the renewal of the term of office every five years have been tightened: “it is no longer just a question of providing impeccable service but also of showing that we are a good company”, with in particular criteria of respect human rights, he added.

As a result, the royal seal is therefore, according to him, also a “guarantee of quality”, which some Britons can use to choose their products.

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