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Top royal warrant holders in drinks

As the Queen turns 90 this week, there’ll be plenty of glasses raised to toast her longevity – not least in the Royal Household itself. We look at the top drinks that hold the Royal Warrant, whose bottles can bear the Royal Coat of Arms.

Companies can apply for a Royal Warrant after they’ve become regular suppliers to the Royal Household over a period of years. Once accepted, warrant holders can display the royal coat of arms and the words ‘By appointment’. Warrants can be granted by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

Holders of the Warrant are a diverse bunch, and range from cleaning products and government despatch box makers, to horse bedding and board games, but one of the largest categories is Food & Drink.

Of these, 27 are currently drinks-related, with a mixture of specific brands and a handful of wine merchants.

Martini Vermouth – H M The Queen

Martini – the label that graced the bottle when it first received its Royal Warrant

A firm personal favourite of the Queen, according to friends of Her Majesty, a dry Martini has long been her regular evening aperitif.

The Martini brand was founded in 1863 in Turin. A century later it received its Royal Warrant, in 1962.

In 2012, Martini paid tribute to Her Majesty The Queen with the creation of a new addition to the range, the Martini Royale, to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee year.

The Royale is a half and half mix of Martini Bianco (or Rosato) vermouth, and Prosecco and, says the company, is “aimed at consumers looking for a stylish, longer and more refreshing serve”.

Her Majesty may just have chosen to stick with the original, though.


Gordon’s Gin – H M The Queen

If Martini is for the evening, then gin and Dubonnet is the drink of choice before lunch (while watching the BBC’s Daily Politics, apparently). When it comes to the gin, apparently it’s got to be Gordon’s, according to the Royal Warrant awarded to Tanqueray Gordon.

Gordon’s was founded in 1769, and received its first Royal Warrant in 1925 by King George V. By 1962 it was the world’s best-selling gin.

Juniper Green Organic Gin – HRH The Prince of Wales

While the Queen maintains traditional values with the choice of Gordon’s, Prince Charles has granted a Royal Warrant to a relative newcomer that reflects his organic principles.

Juniper Green was founded in 2000 as the world’s first Organic London Dry Gin, and received its Warrant in 2007.

In May 2016 they’re bringing out a new addition to the range: Juniper Green Trophy Organic Gin.

Applicants for a Royal Warrant from Prince Charles all have to complete an environmental questionnaire first.

Champagne Bollinger – H M The Queen

Out of 26 drinks-related Royal Warrants, a whopping 9 of those are Champagnes.

Bollinger has enjoyed a close association with Britain since 1858 and prides itself on having held a Royal Warrant continuously since first awarded by Queen Victoria in 1884.

At that point, Britain had already become a massively important market for Bollinger. In 1884, for example, the UK accounted for 89% of all their sales, so the Warrant came at a valuable time for reinforcing that market.

Bollinger was also served at the weddings of Prince Charles and his brother Prince Andrew.

Champagne Pol Roger – H M The Queen

While Bollinger has the longest unbroken record as a Warrant Holder, Pol Roger gained the accolade earlier. The Champagne house first held the Royal Warrant in 1877.

Recent years have seen a continued public association with the brand, when it was served at the wedding reception of Wiliam and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011.

Keen not to demonstrate too flashy a celebration in the heart of a global financial crisis, Non-Vintage Pol Roger Special Reserve was served for the event at Buckingham Palace, albeit in magnums to preserve the sense of occasion – a fitting match for the “Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Mushy Pea Guacamole” on the menu.


Champagne Lanson – H M The Queen

Lanson is one of the oldest Champagne Houses, founded in 1760 by Francois Delamotte. In 1828, Delamotte’s son formed a partnership with Jean Baptiste Lanson, who in 1837 gave his name to the company – the year Queen Victoria came to the throne.

Just a year before the end of her reign, Queen Victoria awarded Lanson the Royal Warrant as an official supplier to the Court of England, and the company has retained this ever since.

Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, Lanson vigorously developed its export markets, especially in the UK, and signed the first exclusive agent’s contract with the Percy Fox company in London. This contract lasted a hundred years and gave the House a dominant position in Great Britain.

Lanson also built its popularity with Royal patrons in other countries, to became the official Champagne of the principality of Monaco.

In recent years, Lanson has reinforced its position as a quintessential part of the British landscape with a connection to another set of courts – as Official Champagne Supplier to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Pimm’s – H M The Queen

It’s been around since the 1840s, when James Pimm first marketed his summer cocktail. Now it’s almost the definition of a summer garden party, and the signature lubrication of the British summer ‘season’.

Surprising then, that the Pimm’s name has only held the Royal Warrant since 2011. It will be a welcome addition for brand owner Diageo, balancing out the loss of Guinness, when its Warrant was withdrawn in 1995.


Harveys – H M The Queen

Harveys Bristol Cream is the nation’s biggest selling sherry. Produced in Jerez since 1769, it was originally bottled in Bristol.

John Harvey & Sons was granted a royal warrant as supplier of fine wine to Queen Victoria in 1895 and has supplied the royal household with Sherry ever since.

Sherry has a long royal association, going back at least to Queen Elizabeth the First.

Famously, the Poet Laureate, an official office of the Royal Household, is paid in sherry, at a rate of one butt of sherry per year (720 bottles).

Laphroaig – HRH The Prince of Wales

Known to enjoy a decent single malt from time to time, Laphroaig has held a Royal Warrant since 1994, when the Prince of Wales delivered the warrant in person to the distillery.

Prince Charles returned to Islay to visit again last year, his third visit in 25 years, to mark the distillery’s 200th anniversary, and tried his hand at shovelling peat.

It’s understood that the Prince, or the Duke of Rothesay as he’s known when north of the border, has a personal preference for the Laphroaig 15 year old.

Hine Cognac – H M The Queen

Awarded the Royal Warrant in 1962, Hine Cognac may be a French company but it was started by the Hine family from Dorset over 250 years ago.

Specialising in high quality vintage expressions, always aged for longer than the legal requirements stipulate, and it’s the only Cognac to hold a Royal Warrant.

Hine set aside a reserve of Cognac from 1952 to commemmorate the accession of Queen Elizabeth. In 1977, some of this was bottled and presented to the Queen on her Silver Jubilee. The rest was bottled ten years later, in 1987. In 2013, a bottle was sold at auction for £920.


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