All the Royal Warrants Queen Elizabeth Issued to Food and Drink Brands Are Now Invalid

·2 min read
The Royal Warrant of Appointment on a jar of Heinz Ketchup
The Royal Warrant of Appointment on a jar of Heinz Ketchup

Chris Dorney / Shutterstock

When you spend 70 years on the British throne, a lot happens — and among the many things Queen Elizabeth II did during her reign was issue hundreds of British Royal Warrants, official acknowledgements that a company supplied goods or services to the royal family. The companies could then, in turn, legally advertise this connection, including using the Royal Arms symbol on packaging and advertising.

However, interestingly enough, upon the passing of any British royalty, the Royal Warrants they issued become invalidated. And now the clock is ticking for brands who want to continue advertising their relationship to the crown.

Exactly one hundred different food and drink brands are affected by this law, according to the UK site The Grocer. They now have two years to either sort out a new appointment — potentially from King Charles III — or stop advertising their Royal Warrant, including altering any packaging that uses the Royal Arms.

Though losing their Royal Warrant due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth may be especially upsetting, the procedure of having to reapply is actually quite normal. Royal Warrant holders apparently already need to reapply for their appointment every five years to prove they "supply products or services on a regular and ongoing basis to the Royal households ... for not less than five years out of the past seven," the Royal Warrant Holders Association was quoted as saying. "Amongst other things, applicants are also required to demonstrate that they have an appropriate environmental and sustainability policy and action plan."

Because of this process, maintaining a Royal Warrant is also not guaranteed. The holders association reportedly said that, on average, 30 Royal Warrants are granted each year while a similar number are also canceled.

An entire list of food and drink companies with Royal Warrants granted by Queen Elizabeth can be found on the Royal Warrant Holders Association website. As The Grocer points out, some of the best known food brands include Heinz, Coca-Cola, Cadbury, and Unilever, along with the booze brands Dubonnet, Martini, Johnnie Walker, Gordon's, Pimm's, and nine different champagne brands. Meanwhile, some major British food and beverage retailers also have a Royal Warrant, including Waitrose, Selfridges, and Fortnum & Mason.