D.R. Harris Co. Ltd. Chemists and Perfumers was awarded a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen (later, the Queen Mother) in 1938. Upon the “Queen Mum’s” death in 2002, the firm was awarded a warrant to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and, in 2012, received one for Her Majesty the Queen.
What does that mean?
The history of Royal Warrants dates back to medieval times, when tradespeople competed for royal favor. By the 15th century, the Lord Chamberlain, official head of the royal household, handed out Royal Warrants of Appointment, meaning that the tradespeople were vetted and good enough to sell their products to the royals. The Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed in 1840 to formalize the procedure. Warrant holders are allowed to display prestigious insignias reading “By Appointment to HM The Queen,” “By Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales,” and/or “By Appointment to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.”
Who holds warrants? Some 800 trade and industry members of all stripes. Bespoke tailors, umbrella makers and knitters of kilt hosiery. A farming irrigation company. An alarm company. Someone who makes gift boxes. Caterers and interior designers. Opticians. And, of course, D.R. Harris.
So if you visit D.R. Harris in London, will you see Elizabeth, Phillip or Charles sniffing the colognes or rubbing a bit of lotion onto their hands? Unlikely. But knowing you’re using the same products can make you feel downright royal.