The Royal Warrant Holders
Purveyors to HM The Queen and the Royal Danish Court deliver goods and services to the entire market. In the daily round, all Danes use one or more of their products – from eggs, sugar and meat to phones and cars, beer and accessories for the table. Thus the terms ”Purveyor to Her Majesty The Queen” and ”Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court” on consumer goods and in advertising are familiar to everyone.
Several Danish purveyors have held a warrant for 50-100 years or more. Some of the firms presently holding a Royal Warrant are still run by descendants of the founder – up to the seventh generation – or have turned into family-owned limited companies.
For a couple of centuries an annual, official list of purveyors has given interesting and sometimes peculiar glimpses into consume and habits in a large household with many representational duties.
Where do the two Danish Royal Warrants differ?
Although purveyors to King and Court have existed since Medieval times, the designation ”Purveyor to HM The King” came into use only at the beginning of the 19th century. The designation ”Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court” was granted for the first time in 1904.
The designation ”Purveyor to HM The King” – at present to HM The Queen – was given to firms or individuals in direct contact with the Royal House. The designation ”Purveyor to The Royal Danish Court” was given to larger companies supplying the Royal Household, e.g. the Danish breweries.
As of April 16th 2008, only the designation ”Purveyor to Her Majesty The Queen” is granted.
Who may obtain a Royal Warrant?
The Royal Warrant is granted to firms or individuals having traded with the Royal Household or the Royal House regularly, to some extent and for at least 10 to 15 years.
Thus isolated deliveries and services for the day-to-day running of the Royal Household, to members of the Royal House or for grand occasions do not entitle to a Royal Warrant.
Furthermore, applicants for a Royal Warrant whether individuals or firms must prove well-established, economically solid and of good public reputation. As a curious relic of ancient personal appointments as court artisans, the Royal Warrant is still granted to a named person in the firm. Even if all conditions to obtain a Royal Warrant are fulfilled, it is not conferred automatically. The firm or person has to submit an application to The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, where a thorough investigation is made. The Lord Chamberlain presents the selected applicants to HM The Queen, and The Queen personally appoints the new purveyor. In Denmark it is not, as in the United Kingdom, customary that other members of the Royal Family appoint purveyors. According to a very old tradition, the appointment of new purveyors takes place at the Monarch’s birthday.