I’m the first to say that I’m a bit pretentious. While you may have a more polite way of saying it, don’t worry, I know the truth.
This has only been exacerbated with the newfound hoopla surrounding the British Royal Family lately – Prince Harry’s book deal, Meghan Markle’s podcast, the death of Queen Elizabeth II. A little bit of Anglophilia has crept up on me recently. While I don’t necessarily care about the monarchy as an institution, I do have an affinity for anything that’s considered “fancy.”
Luckily, there are small ways to enter the stratosphere of the Royal Family, since my chances of being the next Meghan Markle appear slim to none: objects that have an official Royal Warrant.
As the adage goes, you should dress for the job you want. And if that job includes some time in Buckingham Palace, you’ll want to turn to Royal Warrants when filling your closet.
What Is a Royal Warrant?
Dating back to the 15th Century, the British monarchy has been granting their endorsement for purveyors of goods that members of the Royal Family enjoy. While the practice is true of various monarchies across Europe since the Middle Ages, there’s special attention given to Britain’s Royal Warrants. This is partly due to the fascination that many across the world have for the former imperial power, and partly because the application and approval process is more stringent than in many other countries.
In its most basic terms, a Royal Warrant indicates that members of the Royal Household (a movable term, which usually encompasses the monarch, the monarch’s spouse, and the heir to the throne) have granted a business their stamp of approval. In order to do this, a business (meaning, one that provides a good, not a service such as a dentist or doctor) must have supplied their products to the household members for five of the last seven years. Once this barrier is met, then said company can apply for a Royal Warrant.
Earning one adds a certain panache and level of prestige. The company is allowed to use the royal coat of arms in advertising their business, after all. Can you think of anything better than telling your competitors or customers? Out of all the brands in the world, the royal family likes yours the best.
What Kinds of Companies are Granted Royal Warrants?
You’ll find a mixed bag look through the list of Royal Warrants. The late Queen’s favorite roofer appears next to King Charles’s (former the Prince of Wales) preferred sportscar. There’s no nationality requirement for Warrant consideration, though it would be fair to say that, from a representation perspective, the Royal Family would prefer to use products made and sold by their subjects. With that said, Champagne must come from France, so it makes sense you’ll find foreign companies like Krug and Moët & Chandon alongside English makers.
Can You Buy Items from Royal Warrant-Appointed Brands?
The beauty of a Royal Warrant is that anyone can own a bit of the royally approved things that they fill their lives with.
While I don’t expect anyone to rush out the door to buy the Queen’s favorite soap, there are a few tried-and-true brands that deserve your attention — particularly when it comes to menswear. These are the best menswear brands from the Royal Warrant list to keep you looking your best the next time you’re invited to Sandringham (or, at the very least, binging The Crown).
Burberry Monogram Motif Cashmere Sweater
When one thinks of British fashion, it’s hard to not think of Burberry. Quintessentially English, Burberry maintains a principle of clean design and minimal decoration. This cashmere sweater’s weight makes it great for year-round wear, while the quality will last you a lifetime with good care and only gets softer with age.
Barbour Bedale Jacket
Barbour’s waxed jackets are classic outdoor clothing. The Royal Household has awarded Barbour with a Warrant since 1974. With its classic countryside design, multitude of pockets, and moleskin lining, this is a jacket that can take a beating while still looking great over a suit.
Tricker’s Stow Country Boot
A favorite of King Charles, Tricker’s has been perfecting English shoemaking since 1829. The Stow Country Boot is a lightweight boot that uses Muflone, which is a deeply grained, yearling leather (meaning it comes from the hide of cattle less than a year old). With a pattern on top that’s reminiscent of a brogue, this shoe can tuck nicely into a pair of trousers or dark jeans to look a little dressy for work or date night.
Turnbull & Asser Plain White Cotton Shirt
Since 1980, Turnbull & Asser has held a Royal Warrant from King Charles (who was the Prince of Wales when the Warrant was first granted). Being a Warrant holder has played a large part in the company’s branding, with the Wales coat of arms right at the top of its website. It’s no wonder why Turnbull & Asser has held onto the Warrant for more than four decades: handmade in classic designs, it’s the de facto dress shirt maker for the upper crust of London. If you’re going to invest in a Turnbull & Asser shirt, I recommend going simple at first. You can’t go wrong with a white button-down.
Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots
Technically speaking, a company’s Royal Warrant expires when the appointer dies. Since this was granted by the Duke of Edinburgh, Hunter’s Warrant is no longer active. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of this list. Hunter held the warrant from 1977 to 2021, and I’m confident it will again soon. Nothing is more British than a Wellington boot. The Original Tall Rain Boot is the perfect accompaniment to a Barbour jacket or a chunky sweater during the wet in-between seasons of fall and spring.