Next generation of royal warrants

Rowena Curlewis, CEO of Denomination, a drinks specialist design company gives her thoughts on the values that a royal warrant can give a brand and how these brands are likely to change with the next generation of royals.

Since the granting of the first royal warrant in 1476, numerous brands have reaped the commercial benefits of a nod from the sovereign.

A royal warrant is a fast-track communication tool, instantly telling the consumer that this brand has credibility and is likely to be of excellent quality. It elevates a brand above any suggestion of tackiness and imbues it with a sense of tradition and Britishness.


In the world of drinks brands, Denomination’s specialist area, royal warrants are especially highly valued. Drinks are, by and large, a luxury category. People buy wine and spirits as a treat – to add a little luxury to their lives – so the patina of prestige added by a royal warrant is always extremely welcome.

Unsurprisingly, the drinks brands that have been granted royal warrants are aligned to the values and interests of the royals they are associated with. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales embody the same values of tradition, luxury, and credibility as the brands they’ve granted their warrants to: Graham’s Ports, Champagne Bollinger S.A. and Laphroaig respectively.

With all three brands, the warrant mark feels credible in the context of the label’s packaging and brand personality. The traditional cues of the mark’s design are also in line with the aesthetics of each brand, making for a harmonious relationship.


What will happen with royal warrants as the next generation of royals rise? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made clear their intention to behave differently to the Duke’s father and grandparents. Where Princess Margaret dripped in diamonds, the Duchess of Cambridge has worn Zara costume jewellery to black tie events. The Prince of Wales was brought up primarily by nannies; Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte are brought up primarily by their parents. Combined with the influence of the easy-going Prince Harry and his stylish wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, this next generation is set to do things differently.