By Royal Appointment
An excerpt from Surrey Life magazine
BY CLAIRE SAUL, June 2022
Around 25 Surrey business currently hold the ultimate seal of approval – a Royal Warrant. We asked three to share why they’re proud to display the Royal Arms.
Positive recognition and endorsement are a boost for every business. Gaining royal approval of a product or service in the form of a Royal Warrant is not only the ultimate marketing win, signifying taste and quality that customers will find hard to resist, but the permission to display the Royal Arms on the company stationery, or over the door, delivers an invaluable sense of company pride and commitment.
Royal Warrants are a formal recognition of royal patronage of the suppliers of goods and services, evolving from the practice of awarding Royal Charters to guilds, the earliest known example being King Henry II’s award to the Weavers’ Company for clothes and castle hangings, in 1155. Over the next centuries, Royal Warrants of Appointment began to recognise the relationship between the Crown and tradesmen on a more individual basis, one notable example being William Caxton, who became King’s Printer to Edward IV in 1476.
The Lord Chamberlain, as head of the Royal Household, would have appointed Caxton, a responsibility that continued through to the 18th century – when Royal tradespeople first began to proudly display the Royal Arms on their premises – and has remained to this day.
Around 800 warrant holders currently have the honour of this royal recognition, representing an extensive cross-section of trade and industry. The vast majority belong to the Royal Warrant Holders Association (RWHA), an organisation which since 1840 has worked to ‘ensure the continued existence of Royal Warrants as a treasured and respected institution’. It also administers new applications for warrants, amendments to existing ones and provides a business and social network for its members.
There are 25 Royal Warrant holders in Surrey that currently belong to the RWHA, supplying a variety of items and services ranging from luxury items to the same practical, household items to be found in any home, castle or cottage. From hearing equipment to horticultural labels and motor spirit to magnolias, they have been awarded Royal Warrants by one of the two current ‘Grantors’, Her Majesty The Queen or HRH The Prince of Wales. Warrants are awarded to named company representatives, the ‘Grantees’.
Dorking-based company Veritas Gifts offer a bespoke design service for luxury goods and accessories for some of the world’s most recognisable brands, stores, businesses and institutions, including Jaguar Land Rover, the Ryder Cup, London Business School and Charterhouse, and also has an online boutique. The company has been By Royal Appointment since 2011.
By Royal Appointment
‘The Queen is an excellent and very loyal customer in fact, along with Lords and the Marylebone Cricket Club she is my longest continuous customer,’ says Grantee and company director Mark Platt, who further explains the process of the award. ‘As a successful applicant you receive a formal letter from the Lord Chamberlain’s office and afterwards, the warrant itself, a lovely document with embossed seals, which gives you permission and responsibility for the display of the Royal Arms in connection with your business.’
Veritas has been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen as a maker of bespoke silver gifts.
You are informed on the extent to which the Royal Arms can be used in five different areas – your product or service, your stationery, marketing communications, company premises and your vehicles.
There are strict guidelines for usage, which are detailed in a document called the Lord Chamberlain’s Handbook. Used on one of our gift boxes, for example, the Royal Arms has to be accompanied with the legend By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen. Bespoke Manufacturer of Silver Gifts. Veritas Precious Metal Design Ltd Surrey on the prerequisite five lines, as specified to us.
‘Essentially, the guidelines are all around the issue of privacy and discretion. For example, if you are at a trade show, you can’t display a product which you have sold directly to The Queen or Prince Charles and advertise it as such. If we produced a product engraved with the EIIR cypher, we would not display it in a public environment. We also cannot display our Royal Warrant on the same plane as another logo.’
With Veritas’ long list of distinguished clients, loyalty and discretion are par for the course for Mark and his team, as is their shared sense of honour for their royal association.