A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a mark of recognition bestowed upon businesses who provide goods and services to the most prominent members of The Royal Family. It is The Queen who decides which members of her family can issue such warrants and currently, only HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales are able to do so. Prior to her death in 2005, The Queen Mother was also able to grant them. The Royal Warrant is a document granted to a named individual giving permission to display the relevant Royal Arms on their premises and marketing materials.
To be eligible for this most sought after accreditation, a business must have been supplying their goods or services to the Royal Family for at least 5 years and have an ongoing trade deal with them. It really is the most prestigious of acknowledgements for those in business as it’s a clear indication of quality. Currently, there are over 800 Royal Warrant holders but did you know that quite a few of these are based in Yorkshire? Here are 11 of the Yorkshire-based companies currently holding a Royal Warrant…
DB Cargo Ltd, Doncaster
DB Cargo is the UK’s leading rail freight and logistics company and they currently hold the warrant to operate the Royal Train. This award was first given to British Rail but was then passed to several successor companies after the privatisation of the rail sector. Two locomotives and nine wagons make up the British carriages although they are not always used at the same time to form a train. These carriages are often used for visiting heads of state and cannot be privately hired. DB Cargo proudly display HM The Queen’s Coat of Arms at their Doncaster headquarters.
East Riding Farm Services Ltd
This family-run business holds HM The Queen’s Royal Warrant for Suppliers of Animal Health & Hygiene Products. Set up over 20 years ago by father and son, David and Richard Smith, the company specialises in supplying quality animal health products to UK and international farmers. Based in purpose-built premises in Driffield, they now stock over 3,500 products and are VMD registered to sell animal medicines.
Federal-Mogul Motorparts offer an unmatched portfolio of premium automotive parts and currently hold HM The Queen’s Warrant as the royal suppliers of sparking plugs and wiper blades. The hugely successful global sell and distribute products from more than 20 premium brands in the automotive industry and it is their Bradford branch which holds the Royal Warrant.
Flying Colours Flagmakers Ltd
This family-run company based in Knaresborough is hold HM The Queen’s Royal Warrant for Flag and Banner manufacturing. Pretty impressive, don’t you think? They have over 25 years of experience in Flagmaking and have been supplying flags and banners to the royal household for more than 15 years. Between their eight seamstresses, the company also boasts more than 175 years of sewing experience so the quality of the workmanship which goes into making their products is second to none. All of the flags and banners supplied to the Royal household are made right here in Yorkshire!
Fretwell Downing Hospitality
Sheffield-based Fretwell Downing Hospitality are the producers of the market leading hospitality management software, Saffron. They support catering operations across the globe and have customers here in the UK and as far away as the Middle East. Currently in possession of HM The Queen’s Royal Warrant for Hospitality Software, they have been in the industry for over 200 years. In the year 1924, Mr Francis Fretwell-Downing opened his very first bakery in Sheffield and in the 1970’s the company diversified into IT. By 1984, the company’s first catering computer system had been launched.
Hull Cartridge Company Ltd
Established in 1947, this family-run business manufactures the finest ammunition for game and competition. It’s no secret that The Royal Family like to partake in shooting and hunting and Hull Cartridge Company were given the Royal Warrant as shotgun cartridge manufacturers in 1992. Since being awarded by “Royal Appointment to HM The Queen” products from their Sovereign range have gone on to win numerous awards and accolades.
John Broadwood & Sons Ltd
As the oldest and one of the most prestigious piano companies in the world, instruments from John Boardwood & Sons and have been enjoyed by some of the biggest names in classical music including Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven. Based in Whitby, they currently hold the Royal Warrant as manufacturers of pianos to HM The Queen. Supplying the Royals with pianos isn’t a recent thing either – Queen Elizabeth II is just one of eleven British monarchs to have sourced instruments from this company. John Broadwood & Sons were also appointed pianoforte manufacturers to King George II, King Edward VII, Queen Victoria and many other British monarchs.
Peppers Marquees Ltd
Peppers Marquees have over 100 years’ experience providing marquees and temporary structures and today, supply them to some of the leading event planners and fashion brands in the country. Based in Goole, these expert marquee suppliers can turn any space into a spectacular party venue. They currently hold a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales who has hosted more than a few star-studded events and celebrations over the years.
Roberts Radio Ltd
Roberts Radio was founded in 1932 when friends Harry Roberts and Leslie Bidmead began making portable radios from a shop in London. Now based in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, Roberts Radio hold not one but two Royal Warrants – Suppliers and Manufacturers of Radio and Television by appointment to HM The Queen and Suppliers and Manufacturers of Radio Receivers by appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales.
T & R Williamson Ltd
Established in 1775, T & R Williamson is a leading supplier of specialist paints and protective coating systems. Founders, Thomas and Robert Williamson were working as Bankers when they obtained their first recipe for Varnish making from a French refugee who had arrived in Ripon. The company still trades from its original and incredibly elegant building in the town, which is the oldest established Varnish house in the United Kingdom . They hold a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen for the manufacturing of Coatings and Paints.
Taylors of Harrogate
This independent family business in Harrogate dates back to 1886 when Charles Taylor and his two sons set up a tea and coffee company at their flagship Harrogate store. Renowned not just in Yorkshire, but throughout the UK for their quality blends and exceptional service, Taylors of Harrogate hold the Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales for supplying beverages. His Royal Highness obviously knows a good brew when he tries one!