Laura loves researching and writing about food and the food industry.
The Royal Warrant: A Symbol of Quality
In memory of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, I have put together a list of some well-known British food and drinks commonly bought and endorsed by Royal households in Great Britain.
You would be surprised just how many products normally found in your kitchen cupboards are actually purchased and recommended by the Queen herself. You can discover these products by looking out for the Royal Warrant symbol, often proudly featured on the front or back of product packaging.
What Is a Royal Warrant and Why Should I Care?
A lot of people couldn’t care less what food or drink the Queen buys (especially in this modern day and age anyway). Traditionally speaking, though, a Royal Warrant is a patriotic symbol and a hallmark of quality and prestige—something a trading country should be very proud to be a part of.
If a brand is awarded a Royal Warrant of appointment, it means that one or several of its products have been faithfully purchased and delivered to royal households for more than five years. Only Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles can grant Royal Warrants; therefore, it is a real honour for companies to be chosen as Royal Warrant Holders.
Here are some well-known (and not so well-known) brands endorsed by Queen Elizabeth II in honour and respect of her majesty’s 60 long years on the throne.
Wilkin & Sons Ltd.
Wilkin & Sons have been making some of the best quality preserves since 1885. They are most famous for their delicious Tiptree jam, the perfect accompaniment for the great British scone!
Wilkin & Sons are so passionate about their products that they even grow their own fruits for the preserves they make. These farms have been used by the Wilkin & Sons family for over three centuries! Safe to say, that is why you can buy Tiptree Jam in most major supermarkets these days; it is also exported to over seventy countries across the globe.
The brand was awarded a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen in 1955 and, previous to this, by King George V in 1911.
Charbonnel Et Walker Ltd.
Charbonnel et Walker has been making luxury English chocolates since 1875, one of the oldest and most established chocolatiers in Britain. They are best known for their rich and enchanting dark chocolate and truffles, each adorned lovingly by hand. They also make some of the prettiest and most attractively presented chocolate gift boxes around—a chocoholics dream come true!
The brand has been supplying the British Royal Family with chocolates for many years, first to King Edward VII in 1903 and then to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1970.
Walkers Shortbread Limited
Walkers is different from most other food giants in the sense that the company is still owned and run by the original family—over a century after the business was founded back in 1898! The man responsible for this delightful company is the late Joseph Walker. His aim was to create and sell the best Scottish shortbread and oatcakes in the world—and sure enough, he did just that.
Joseph’s grandchildren now own the company in the same rural village of Aberlour, Scotland. They have remained faithful to their granddad’s recipes ever since, and they vow to use only the finest of natural ingredients. According to the family, this is the main reason why the company is so successful today.
As proof of Walkers’ success, the family brand was awarded a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen in 2002.
In honour of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, Walkers have produced a limited edition shortbread selection, complete with collectible tin, a great present for someone interested in royal collectible items.
Tate and Lyle Sugars
In 1881, a man called Abram Lyle set up a small sugar refinery business in London. It was then that he discovered that sugar could be transformed into a thick syrup as part of the manufacturing process—a sugar syrup that tasted simply delicious and unlike anything he had ever tasted before!
It wasn’t long after that Abram decided to sell the syrup to close friends and associates. Soon, the whole town was talking about it. It was then that Lyles Golden Syrup was then born. Even the King started to buy it, which got the company its first Royal Warrant back in 1922. Queen Elizabeth II was then awarded another Royal Warrant in 1955.
Since then, the company has firmly established itself in hearts and households all over Britain. It is used on pancakes, on ice cream, as an ingredient in flapjacks and in Treacle Tart—it’s just so versatile. I wonder how the Queen likes to eat it?
Schwartz has been producing fine-quality herbs and spices since 1889. The British company was revolutionary for its time because, unlike other brands, they sold pure exotic herbs and spices—not packed with cheap fillers such as cornflour.
William Schwartz was different because he valued the importance of quality. His sales pitch encouraged the public to buy herbs and spices in small batches to ensure the best possible flavour and freshness. Even today, Schwartz products are sold in almost every major British supermarket. It's no wonder the Queen granted the brand a Royal Warrant back in 1998.
What is more British than a cup of tea? Twinings have been manufacturing tea in the UK since 1706, so they know a thing or two about a nice cuppa. It all began when a man called Thomas Twining opened a little shop in London selling dried tea and coffee—it was one of a kind back then. The shop became such a hit that Thomas Twining decided to sell his great quality products to retail outlets all over the country.
Her Majesty the Queen awarded Twinings a Royal Warrant in 1955 and Prince Charles in 1993. Even the late Queen Victoria awarded Twinings her first Royal Warrant back in 1837.
James White Drinks Ltd.
James White is a relatively new drinks company based in Suffolk, with a passion for producing the finest quality fruit and vegetable juices on the market. The brand also offers a range of high-quality, organic products fully certified by the Soil Association. There really is something for everybody’s tastes!
It was their ‘Big Tom’ Tomato juice that caught the eye of Queen Elizabeth II. This bagged James White Drinks Ltd. their first Royal Warrant in 2002.
John Walker & Sons Ltd.
John Walker & Sons was founded in 1820 by a fifteen-year-old boy named John Walker. He opened his own little grocery shop in Ayrshire, Scotland, and began to sell whiskey to the local customers (imagine the controversy of that happening in this day and age)! Who would have thought that in years to come, John would be known and remembered for creating one of the most well-loved Scottish Whiskey brands?
John Walker’s whiskey business was thriving well after his death in 1857. It was his future children and grandchildren that transformed the brand into the global success that it is today. The brand has received a Royal Warrant from every monarch since King George V, including Queen Elizabeth II in 1955.
Shortly after the Queen reigned in 1952, John Walker & Sons created a very special and rare Whiskey in preparation for the Queen's 60-year Diamond Jubilee; one bottle will be gifted to the Queen on her special day, and the rest can be purchased for a mere £100 k per bottle!!