Here at TRULY we are extremely proud of our collection of Royal Warrant holders’ gifts. Since we’re so excited about it, we thought we ought to let you know exactly what a Royal Warrant is and why and how it is awarded.
What is a Royal Warrant?
Royal Warrants of Appointment are the ultimate mark of recognition for those who have supplied the highest quality of goods or services to the households of Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh or His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Royal Warrants have been awarded for centuries to acknowledge the tradespeople who are regarded as demonstrating service, quality and excellence. In order to qualify to receive the honour, companies must have been supplying one of the aforementioned royal households for at least five years. Applications can then be made once a year, the closing date being May.
The appointments are highly prized, with only around 800 companies the world over, from a diverse cross-section of trade and industry, in possession of a Royal Warrant. Regardless of size or specialisation, Royal Warrant holders are united by their commitment to the highest standards of service, quality and excellence.
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Our collection of Royal Warrant holder partners at TRULY underline our connection to Great British heritage. Many of the companies with this honour boast a colourful and intriguing history. One such partner we are proud to associate with is Berry Bros. & Rudd. Britain’s oldest and best-respected wine merchant was opened on St. James’s Street in 1698. It remains there today.
The shop began as a grocer’s, opened in the prestigious neighbourhood opposite St. James’s Palace, which, in the same year, became the official residence of the monarch. Little is known about the original founder, other than that her surname is Bourne and she was a widow with two daughters.
The mysterious Widow Bourne handed the shop over to her daughter, who had married a William Pickering in 1734. The Pickerings began supplying the newly fashionable coffee houses of St. James’s and chose an image of this prestige commodity as the company signage. To this day, Berry Bros. & Rudd still trades under the ‘Sign of the Coffee Mill’ – an enduring, iconic image that has existed outside the shop for centuries.
After their deaths, Pickering’s brother and a relation of his, John Clarke, took charge of the business. They began supplying the British Royal Family, under George III, in 1760, something that has been maintained to this date. Clarke’s grandson, George Berry, was born in 1787. Little was it known at the time that he would come to have his name etched in the history books due to his association with No. 3, St. James Street.
George had become a successful wine merchant and the changing times meant he ensured the shop focused primarily on wine and spirits. In 1838, as the Chartist riots spread through England, George Berry signed up as a special constable. Accompanying him was his friend, Napoleon III. In exile in London, Napoleon used No. 3’s cellars to hold secret meetings. Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Napoleon cellar is named after him.
In 1912, the company supplied the finest wine for the Titanic. The day after its catastrophic sinking, a carefully typed letter was sent from the White Star Line to ‘Berry Bros. & Co.’ The letter reports the loss of 69 cases of the firm’s wines and spirits onboard the ship. No mention is made of the lives that were lost.
The 1920s was an exciting time for the company. When Prohibition was established in America, ‘Berry Bros.’ products became in great demand in the Bahamas, a popular stop for smugglers. Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky was invented in 1923, with an iconic label designed by Scottish artist James McBey. This whisky became hugely popular in the American market, and was to be one of the company’s most successful products.
The company continues to go from strength to strength today. They maintain their supply of wines and spirits to royalty, have a successful presence in Asia and lead the world of wine with a philosophy of constant innovation.
Floris of London
Another heritage company with which we are delighted to associate are Floris of London. Juan Floris and his wife began selling perfume in their elegant St. James’ shop in 1730. The shop they opened at 89 Jermyn Street remains the heart of the business and is still run by their descendants today.
In the early nineteenth century, one of Floris’s specialities was skilfully made combs. Floris was appointed ‘Smooth Pointed Comb Maker’ to King George IV, while Frankenstein author Mary Shelley wrote to her friend Thomas Love Peacock in London, asking him to send “two hairbrushes and a small toothbrush” from Floris.
After Florence Nightingale’s return from the Crimean War, where she became known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’, she wrote to Mr. Floris, thanking him for his “beautiful sweet-smelling nosegays.”
As the company increased in popularity and size throughout the twentieth century, its illustrious clientele included Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who took a bottle with his team on an Arctic expedition. The company continue to supply the British Royal Family.
Holland & Holland
Holland and Holland is another distinguished company with which TRULY are proud to partner. They were founded as H. Holland in 1835 by Harris Holland, a successful wholesale tobacco wholesaler. He was a keen and enthusiastic shot and was regularly seen winning prestigious pigeon shoots at London clubs.
Having no children of his own, Harris took on his nephew, Henry, as an apprentice in 1861. He was made a partner in 1867 and, nine years later, Harris retired, with the company’s name changing to Holland & Holland.
A key year in the company’s history is 1883, when Holland & Holland staggeringly entered and won every category in ‘The Field’ magazine’s rifle trials. The achievement set a new standard of excellence among London gun makers. Shortly after this outstanding feat, they trademarked the world-famous ‘The Royal’ sidelock action in 1885.
Prudent business decisions helped the company through lean times in the gun-making industry. During the depression years, Colonel Jack Holland, son of Henry, sold the Wembley shooting grounds in 1932 and purchased land in Northwood. These grounds remain in use by the Shooting School today.
Nearly two centuries after Harris Holland’s first steps, the company continues to thrive on a truly global scale.
Barnard & Westwood
Other Royal Warrant holders we partner with include Barnard & Westwood. The company was founded some 90 years ago by Albert Reginald Barnard, who saw service in World War I and suffered injuries which prevented him from working underground in his previous trade as a hotel printer.
Faced with the loss of his livelihood, Albert approached his aunt, Miss Westwood, for financial backing. A schoolteacher and noted Suffragette, who contributed numerous articles to the press, Miss Westwood lent Albert the money he needed to set up his own printing business and so in 1921 Barnard & Westwood was born.
Over time, as both its expertise and reputation grew, Barnard & Westwood took on evermore prestigious work which included the printing of The Whitehall Gazette. Albert sought a partner, and eventually, Eddie Kopley, the Secretary of the International Printers Association at that time, bought into the business.
Eddie was followed into the business by his son Austen, who now controls the company, continuing Barnard & Westwood’s family tradition. In 1986, the company was recognised for its consistently high quality work for the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace. They were granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM The Queen, which was followed in 2012 by a second Royal Warrant by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
TRULY are also pleased to partner with the prestigious objet d’art providers, Halcyon Days, famous for their gorgeous hand-crafted enamel boxes. They are one of only fifteen companies to hold all three Royal Warrants. This important relationship sets the high standard of UK craftsmanship and design, which they are dedicated to maintain.
It is our pleasure to be able to offer gifts from these most distinguished of Great British heritage brands, with such flamboyant and prestigious pasts. We hope that gifting experiences from our Royal Warrant holding partners will ensure recipient feel like royalty.