The idea of Royal warrant holders can be traced back to medieval times, the monarch always needed to be fed, clothed and the castle repaired. Tradesmen benefited from having such a prestigious client.
By the 15th century, the Lord Chamberlain, as head of the Royal Household, formally appointed tradespeople with a Royal Warrant of Appointment – a practice that continues to this day.
In the !8th Century Royal tradesmen began displaying the Royal Arms on their premises and stationery. Today Royal Warrants are awarded to businesses which supply goods or services to the Households of HM the Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales.
To qualify to hold a Royal warrant a business must have supplied products or services on a regular and on-going basis to the Royal Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for not less than five years out of seven and they must also have done this in the year immediately prior to application which must be sent to the Lord Chamberlain’s office and they do not have to pay. A Royal warrant is usually awarded for up to 5 years and it is reviewed the year before it is going to expire. The warrant will not be renewed if the product is no longer needed, has not met the required standard or if the product or service is not longer made or available.
Lobbs are bootmaker to both HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The Royal Warrant Holder can display the relevant Royal Coat of Arms on their premises and stationary and on their vehicles. Royal Warrant holders may not give details of the goods or services they provide except as described in the wording or Legend beneath the Royal Arms, e.g. ‘By Appointment to… Suppliers of shoes…’. Currently there are approximately 900 Royal Warrants, held by around 800 companies or individuals, but it changes almost monthly.