The Royal Warrants of Appointment system has come under scrutiny due to Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on September 8, 2022, and King Charles III’s ascension, including what they signify, how they are the reward, and what happens in the event of succession.
People in the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth states have grown accustomed to seeing the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Arms on various everyday items, such as mustard, dog food, and tea bags, as she ruled over these nations for more than 70 years. Naturally, many people don’t know what this means for goods that proudly claim they are giving.” By appointment to Her Majesty, the Queen” resulted in the end of the second-longest reign of all monarchs in history.
The royal families of Spain, Romania, Thailand, and other monarchs also issue royal warrants. Therefore the Commonwealth is one of many with this practice. Around 800 Royal Warrant holders in the UK have around 875 Royal Warrants. Having one is a sign of prestige because it serves as the head of state or one of their family members’ physical seal of approval. Such acknowledgement is highly prized since it fosters consumer confidence and might increase sales. Popular goods with Warrants include Kellogg’s cereal, Cadbury chocolate, Burberry apparel, and Bendicks mints.
What exactly are Royal Warrants of Appointment?
First, Royal Warrants of Appointment are not considered Intellectual Property (IP) and are not subject to UKIPO regulation. Instead, they are particular to people or businesses that provide them with goods or services directly by members of the British Royal Family or their households. Each Warrant is issued for five years and is after that renewable.
The printer William Caxton granted the first royal Warrant in 1476, making royal warrants at least as old as the 15th century. Since then, the methods for obtaining, displaying, and renewing them have been well-established.
The KingKing chooses who is authorised to issue warrants. The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Edinburgh, and The Queen were recent grantors (now King Charles III). All transactions are in control commercially; holders of Royal Warrants are not due to pay for them and do not enjoy special treatment from the Royal Family. The Royal Arms of the grantor may appear alongside information about the goods and services grantees offer. May revoke a Royal Warrant if the Lord Chamberlain’s detailed rules of use have yet to come after. It is important to note that royal warrants do not cover professional services provided by legal firms, newspapers, and other outlets.
Although it is not required, many grantees belong to the not-for-profit Royal Warrant Holders Association. According to the Association, between 20 and 40 Royal Warrants are revoked and added yearly.
What will now alter?
The Royal Warrant document will become null and void upon the death or abdication of a grantor (such as Queen Elizabeth II). Still, the company or individual may continue to use the Royal Arms in connection with the business for up to two years, provided there is no material change within the company.
We anticipate seeing items with Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Arms and Warrants in the former Prince of Wales’s name until 2024. Once the Warrant has expired, the logo will either be modified to reflect the new grantor or removed if the Warrant restart. In case of a change in sovereignty, however, the Royal Household will evaluate any Warrant granted.
The incoming King Charles III may elect to add more grantors, most likely Prince William or The Queen Consort, Camilla, given that two grantors—The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip—died in the last two years. They will, after that, have the authority to choose new Royal Warrant holders.
What is King Charles III capable of?
It is still too early in King Charles III’s reign to foretell the changes he would bring about. However, given that it benefits organisations, people, and the Royal family, the Royal Warrant system will probably continue to operate as it currently does. Since many current grantees still provide products and services to members of the Royal Household, many of them will likely have their royal warrants extended. Those granted Warrants from The King while he was Prince of Wales might expect to continue receiving his favour in his current position.
KingKing was well-known for promoting ethical business practices and the environment while still the Prince of Wales. It will be intriguing to see if more Warrants donate in time for sustainable and organic products. Similar to other certification marks, regarded as intellectual property, this may be an innovative and forward-thinking application of the Royal Warrant.
On that subject, King Charles III has some branding experience. He founded a nonprofit organisation called Duchy Originals Limited to market organic foods produced on his estate. Although it grew to many other items, the company was most well-known for its biscuits.
Since 1992, Duchy Originals Limited has held some word and symbol trademarks in the UK for the terms “Duchy Originals” and “Duchy Organic.” In 2009, the company collaborated with the grocery store Waitrose, which offers goods like cheese, meat, eggs, and vegetables under the Waitrose Duchy Organic label. The Prince of Wales Charity Foundation contributes some of its revenues to other charitable organisations.
Authority of Warrants
Commentators frequently refer to the KingKing or queen’s “soft power” in constitutional monarchies like the United Kingdom. Royal Warrants are a great illustration of that. A long-standing, reliable, largely unofficial structure enables the monarchy to fund particular organisations and people.
The future KingKing will maintain the system of awarding Royal Warrants, like other aspects of his rule. However, it is also likely to be receptive to gradual change, especially regarding the types of products supported and donors’ identities. Over the following few years, we will learn the full extent of any changes.