Fit for a Queen: 5 Royal Larder Essentials
It's time to reveal the Queen's favourite food and drinks
The Prince of Wales may have formally embraced English fizz by awarding a Royal Warrant to Cornish producer Camel Valley, and domestically produced sparkling wine is now a regular, patriotic feature at state banquets; however, Her Majesty has clearly stayed loyal to Champagne.
No fewer than eight houses boast a Royal Warrant from the Queen. Bollinger has held onto this coveted status ever since it was first awarded by Queen Victoria in 1884. For other moods and occasions, Her Majesty can choose from Mumm, Krug, Lanson, Louis Roederer, Moët & Chandon, Pol Roger and Veuve Clicquot – perhaps for its grande cuvée, La Grande Dame.
You can tell a lot about a person by the chocolate they buy. If Her Majesty craves Mars Bars or lauded Swiss confectionary then she must have it smuggled in by the grandchildren. Her Royal Warrants lie with classic, British, almost exclusively highbrow choices.
All within a short walk from Buckingham Palace lie Bendicks of Mayfair, purveyors of the traditional after dinner mint; truffle maestros Prestat, who also held a Royal Warrant from the late Queen Mother; and Charbonnel & Walker, who set up their Bond Street shop with encouragement from the future Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales.
We all need a comforting bar of Dairy Milk in the cupboard for emergencies though, and Her Majesty is clearly no different: Cadbury is also in proud possession of a Royal Warrant.
Other spirits are available chez Windsor, but the Queen’s Royal Warrant Holders list indicates a clear household preference for Scotland’s famous “water of life”. The world may have gone mad for pricy single malts, but Her Majesty’s official suppliers list indicates a preference for the sort of everyday blend available from the corner shop.
There’s John Dewar & Sons, home to Dewar’s White Label and William Lawson’s Finest Blends, as well as single malts including Aberfeldy and Royal Brackla. Next up is another blended whisky giant, John Walker & Sons, responsible for the Johnnie Walker range. Then there’s Glasgow-based blender Matthew Gloag & Sons – not a family name perhaps, although their brand The Famous Grouse certainly is.
As if that collection didn’t assure sufficient supplies, a further Royal Warrant is held by Royal Lochnagar. Perhaps it helps that their distillery lies just a mile from Her Majesty’s Scottish home of Balmoral – very handy if you need a quick top up.
4. Teatime Treats
After a busy day of investitures, opening community centres and welcoming world leaders, teatime must be a vital pause in the royal schedule before the late-night rigours of a state banquet.
Afternoon tea has its own maze of rituals and etiquette, but the Queen’s Royal Warrant holders offer clear insight into her own approach. Special occasions may well call for the high-end provisions of luxury tea specialists Fortnum & Mason, but for everyday it looks as though British household staple Twinings Tea is perfectly satisfactory.
Does Her Majesty dunk? It seems unlikely, although United Biscuits holds a warrant, which strongly suggests the discerning tea-dunker’s choice McVities is a palace favourite. Even more sturdy and reliable, Walker’s Shortbread may well also make the cut for similar reasons. As for the jam to accompany those freshly baked scones, Essex producer Tiptree holds the royal seal of approval.
5. Unusual essentials
Sadly we can’t browse through Her Majesty’s larder, but like everyone else’s it appears to be stocked with an eclectic assortment of specialist products that can’t be easily swapped for alternatives and come into their own for that fussy guest or very specific craving.
Among the Queen’s less predictable Royal Warrant holders are Allens Farm, producer of local speciality the Kentish cobnut. Then there’s Angostura – purveyors of essential bitters for that pink gin – joined on the cocktail trolley by the McIlhenny Company’s Tabasco Sauce.
A few truly global giants make the royal cut: Coca Cola, presumably kept for guests, and Heinz. It’s unclear whether the latter’s warrant relates to Bloody Mary essential Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce or the company’s baked beans: perfect comfort food for a much needed quiet night in.
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