Long before Cindy Crawford was the face of Revlon and Michael Jordan made Nike famous, royal warrants were the original celebrity endorsement. The practice dates back to the medieval times, when tradespeople clamored to earn the royal seal of approval as a way of signaling to the public that their goods and services were — literally — fit for a king or queen.
Today, over a thousand businesses and individuals have been issued a warrant by the British Royal Family as a monarchic thumbs-up. Considering the fact that a single Meghan Markle sighting is enough to sell out a $995 coat for weeks, you can only imagine what a Royal Warrant does for a brand's status.
But earning the right to display the coveted coat of arms is much more complicated than the Queen giving her favorite drugstore a five-star Yelp review — it's more like going to the DMV, rife with bureaucratic processes and dotted lines. A company must supply goods and services to the Royal Household for at least five years before it becomes eligible to apply for the warrant, then the application is presented to the Royal Household, then it goes in front of the Royal Household Warrants Committee, where they then decide whether to accept the recommendation.
After that, things get personal. From there it goes to the grantor, one of the three most senior members of the Royal Family, who then signs it. The grantor "owns" that warrant, which is why each warrant holder is listed as "by appointment to" a specific member of the household. (The Queen, for example, endorses eight different Champagne producers; Prince Charles is partial to just one.)
This, of course, is a process no average person will ever have to worry about. But the brands that have jumped through the many hoops required to earn the royal favor range from Cartier to Cadbury, Samsung to Schweppes — one would agree, an excellent mix of high and low. Ahead, the best-known beauty brands who are permitted to bear the symbol of the Royal Arms. Just don't ask them to elaborate: When it comes to matters of the British monarchy, their lips are royally sealed.