By Appointment: The Royal Warrant Holders – a Platinum Jubilee Survey

In published recommendations the Warrant Holders’ Way Ahead Committee expressed a wish to ‘project a public image which both supports and reflects the character of its member firms, namely: excellence, quality, reliability and discretion’. In addition, ‘Every opportunity should be taken to stress the charitable support given to craft and skill training.’

Within the organisation the most important figure is, in a sense, the Secretary, a full-time salaried job which provides continuity and permanence, even though policy is a matter for the Council. Many of his duties are similar to those of secretaries for the previous 100 years or so. The Warrant still has to be ‘policed’, and people do ‘transgress’, but the number of cases is minimal compared with the early 20th century, perhaps half a dozen a year. This is a murky world of improbable Scotch whisky bottles on the shelves of Turkish supermarkets, of trading standards officers in provincial towns, of sharp letters from the Colonel’s office or the Lord Chamberlain’s or even from Farrers, the Royal solicitors.

Most Warrant Holders want to do the right thing and abide by the Lord Chamberlain’s rules, and if people do step out of line the sharp letter usually suffices.

Membership is very slowly declining, from the 2,000 of Queen Victoria’s day to around 850 today, mainly because the rules are getting tighter. Warrant holders pay significant sums of money to maintain funds at a healthy level – very healthy compared with the past. Some 50 member companies have an annual turnover of more than £500 million a year. They pay an annual subscription of more than £2,000, but the smallest, the 70 or so with a turnover below £100,000, pay around £60. And there is a tiny minority of about a dozen who are dealt with under ‘Special Arrangements’.

There is the annual banquet to organise and the luncheon and the London Reception. Seating plans, menus, speeches. Time-consuming, necessary, worthwhile but no great problem.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get
• FREE Competitions
• FREE Digital Magazines
• HOME and FAMILY News
And much more…

You have Successfully Subscribed!