About us

The Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed in 1840.
Its main objective
 is to ensure the continued existence of the Royal Warrant as a treasured
 and respected institution. It helps to administer applications for new Royal Warrants and changes to existing ones.

The Association is not part of the Royal Household, but belongs to its members. It advises members on everything to do with their Royal Warrants and assists with the correct interpretation and implementation of The Lord Chamberlain's Rules, which govern the Royal Warrant.

The Association also helps its members to communicate and network with each other through a programme of social, business and networking events.

To find out more about Royal Warrants, our local associations, our charities and the Plowden Medal, click on the boxes below.

What is a Royal Warrant?

What is a royal warrant?

A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years, and who have an ongoing trading arrangement.

The Monarch decides who may grant Royal Warrants. These are known as the Grantors: HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Royal Warrant is the document that appoints the company in its trading capacity, and is granted to a named individual, known as the Grantee. The Warrant gives the Grantee permission, and responsibility, for the display of the relevant Royal Arms in connection with the business.

Today there are around 800 Royal Warrant holders representing a huge cross-section of trade and industry, from individual craftspeople to global multi-nationals. They are united by a commitment to the highest standards of service, quality and excellence. Almost all Warrant holders are members of the Association.

Local Associations

The local associations play a vital role in providing a wide range of social, business and networking events for local members, which complement the work of the national Association in bringing together the community of Royal Warrant holders. Each local association has its own history and character, and operates on a largely voluntary basis.

Many Royal Warrant holders are within reach of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House in London. There are also concentrations of Royal Warrant holders around other Royal Residences – Windsor Castle, Balmoral, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Sandringham and Highgrove House – and the local associations have developed around these.

Click below to find out more.


Windsor

Windsor, Eton & District Association local royal warrant association

The Windsor, Eton & District Association is the oldest of the local associations. Its origins can be traced to 1810, when the tradesmen serving Windsor Castle first formally dined together. It joined the national Association in 1987.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen local royal warrant association

Following Queen Victoria's first visit to Deeside in 1848, a number of Aberdeenshire tradespeople found custom with the Balmoral Estate, the Monarch's private home in Scotland. In 1871, the Aberdeen Association was formally constituted, and it joined the national Association in 1931.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh local royal warrant association

Founded in 1894 as the Edinburgh Association of Royal Tradesmen, this association changed its name to The Edinburgh Royal Warrant Holders Association (ERWHA) in 1994. The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is HM The Queen's official Scottish residence.

Sandringham

Sandringham local royal warrant association

The Sandringham Association was established in 1979 as a branch of the national Association. Most members of this Association are from the east of England or supply the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, HM The Queen's Norfolk retreat.

Highgrove

Highgrove local royal warrant association

The newest of the local Associations, the Highgrove Association was formed in 2010. It is named after Highgrove House, the private family home of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, in Gloucestershire.

QEST & Plowden Medal

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust funds the education of talented craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships and one-on-one training with master artisans. Since it was founded in 1990, the Trust has awarded over £2m to 355 gifted individuals, aged between 17 and 57.

Established with funds contributed by RWHA members, QEST continues to reflect the excellence of British craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment. Royal Warrant holders are not only its largest benefactors, but also an invaluable source of work experience, business mentoring and skills training for its scholars.

Click here to visit the QEST website


Plowden Medal Conservation Award

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2014 Plowden Medal Winner Dr Jim Tate (centre) with RWHA President Alec McQuin (left) and Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar (right)

The Association awards the Plowden Medal annually to recognise the man or woman who has made the most significant recent contribution to the advancement of the conservation profession.

Inaugurated in 1999, the award commemorates the Hon. Anna Plowden CBE, a leading conservator and Grantee of Plowden & Smith, who was President-elect of the Association at the time of her death in 1997.

Presented at the Association's Annual Luncheon, the Plowden Medal covers all aspects of conservation, be they practical, theoretical or managerial, and is open to both those working in private practice and those employed by institutions.

Click below to download more information about the Plowden Medal, which is adminstered by QEST:

Winners' citations
Nomination form

Charity Fund

In addition to its principal charitable arm, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the Royal Warrant Holders Association also operates a Charity Fund, established in 1902. This exists to support the charitable endeavours of members of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

The Charity Fund makes grants, currently in the range of £500 to £2,000, to local charities with which Royal Warrant holders are personally involved, and where the amounts given will make a real difference.

Twice a year, Royal Warrant holders who have given time to charitable work in their communities can apply for small donations to assist their chosen cause. All applications must be endorsed by a Grantee, but could support the charitable work of any employee at a Royal Warrant-holding company.

Recent Charity Fund award recipients included local sports clubs Smarden Sports Association and Norwich Lads Club; St Jude's Laundry, part of the Forth Sector employment charity; Glencraft, a social enterprise that manufactures mattresses; and Banchory & District Talking Newspapers, an Aberdeenshire charity which produces audio recordings for residents who have difficulty reading a newspaper.

Annually, the Fund also awards an Aldeburgh Bursary to young professional musicians, and makes a contribution to the retiring national President's nominated charity.

The closing dates for Charity Fund applications are 1 February and 1 July each year. To find out more, please email:

charityfund@rwha.co.uk

The Norwich Lads Club received a £1,000 award for new boxing equipment from the Charity Fund
Clockwise from bottom left: Good causes to benefit from the Charity Fund include social enterprise Glencraft; St Jude's Laundry; Smarden Sports Association; Banchory & District Talking Newspapers and Norwich Lads Club.

How to apply

How to apply

Companies can apply for a Royal Warrant after they have supplied the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales with goods or services for at least five years out of seven (to include during the 12 months before applying).

Royal Warrants are not granted for professional services – e.g. bankers, brokers or agents, solicitors, employment agencies, government agencies – or to newspapers, annual publications or periodicals.

Royal Warrants are granted for up to five years and only to companies that provide goods or services to the Royal Household. Goods purchased for re-sale by souvenir shops run by Royal Collection Enterprises and the Private Estates, and goods or services provided to the Crown Estate, Historic Royal Palaces and Royal Parks do not qualify.

Applications open in March and close at the end of May each year and can be made via the Association. Each application is scrutinised by the Royal Household Warrants Committee, which makes its recommendation to the Grantor.

To find out more, read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Royal Warrant Holders Association on:

020 7828 2268
warrants@rwha.co.uk

Search Royal Warrant Holders

You can search the Royal Warrant Holders Association directory by company name or keyword, by Grantor, by trade category, or by region. Click on the link below to browse all Royal Warrant holders who are members of the Association, and to start your search.

Start a search

History

The history of the Royal Warrant can be traced back to medieval times, when competition for Royal favour was intense and the Monarch had the pick of the country's best tradespeople. By the 15th century, the Lord Chamberlain, as head of the Royal Household, formally appointed tradespeople with a Royal Warrant of Appointment – a practice that continues to this day.

In the 18th century, Royal tradesmen began displaying the Royal Arms on their premises and stationery. In 1840, the Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed. Scroll through the timeline to discover highlights from the history of the Royal Warrant, stretching back from the present day to its early origins.