By the 15th century, royal tradesmen were recognised with a Royal Warrant of Appointment. England’s first printer, Willian Caxton was an early recipient, awarded King’s Printer in 1476.
Royal life and tastes evolved through the centuries: Henry VIII appointed Thomas Hewytt to “Serve the Court with Swannes and Cranes” and “all kinds of Wildfoule”. The Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 was largely put together by royal tradesmen. Charles II in 1684 roster of royal tradesmen included a Sword Cutter, an Operator for the Teeth, and a Golf-club maker. In 1789 among the list supplying the Royal Household were a pin maker, a mole taker, a card maker and a rat catcher.
Queen Victoria supported the Royal Warrant as we know it today by propelling its prestige to a new level. Throughout her 64 year old reign, the Queen and her family bestowed more than 2000 Royal Warrants – eight times more than her uncle, George 1V. Household names such as Fortnum and Mason, Schweppes and Twining’s, which to this day still hold the prized Warrant.
Women have long featured in the list of those granted Warrants: including a Modeller of Wax Flowers, a Chronometer maker and a Silversmith.
In the United Kingdom, three members of the British Royal Family can bestow a Warrant to companies or tradespeople; The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. The Warrant allows the supplier to display the Royal Warrant crest and promote its association, this alone provides huge prestige.
To qualify a brand , company or service must supply and charge the member of the Royal Family concerned, or their household, with products and services in significant quantity over a period not less than five years.