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Royal warrant holders in north and north-east await decision on future of grants

Queen Camilla at HM Sheridan.
The King and Queen consort, then the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, visit butcher HM Sheridan in Ballater.

Dozens of holders of businesses holding royal warrants are awaiting further information following the death of Elizabeth II.

Across the north and north-east there are 50 holders of royal warrants, ranging from whisky-makers, bakeries and kilt firms to window cleaners and pest control companies.

The awards mean a business offers work in a trading capacity to the royal household and entitles it to use the royal arms in connection with their trade.

Of these 35 were awarded by the Queen.

SEE our interactive map of Royal Warrant holders in the north and north-east.

For the past century or so the monarch, their consort and heir have been “grantors”, with power to issue their own royal warrants. Across the UK there are currently about 900 royal warrants held by 800 companies.

Royal warrant over HM Sheridan shop in Ballater, Aberdeenshire.

According to current rules, when a grantor dies, any royal warrants they issued “become void” and the company has two years to stop using the royal arms.

But these rules can change – exceptionally, warrants issued by the Queen Mother stood for five years after her death.

It is though the warrants King Charles issued as the Duke of Rothesay/Prince of Wales will continue now he is king because they go with the household, not the title.


There is also an expectation the new king will grant Prince William the ability to issue his own warrants.

Many warrant holders contacted by The Press and Journal preferred to stay tight-lipped about what may happen to the status which confers kudos to their brand, although some were keen to share their thoughts on the death of the UK’s longest reigning monarch.

Braemar Mountain Sports, with its royal warrant.

John Sinclair, owner of butcher HM Sheridan in Ballater, has been a royal warrant holder for more than 20 years

He said he had already reapplied for his warrants but there was now some uncertainty.

“Obviously, I am very saddened by the news of the Queen,” he said, adding: “As for the royal warrants, they are null and void now.

“Hopefully, we can retain the King’s warrant but it is just a case of the waiting game. We will have to apply for them.”

George Strachan, of Aboyne, with its royal warrant on show at the top of the gable.

Warrants cost nothing to apply for, although there are some administrative charges as well as the cost of emblazing the distinctive logos on packaging, decoration and other material.

Ken Clow, chief executive of Donald Russell, said the Inverurie-based butcher would take a decision on what to do in the coming days.

Mr Clow added: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and are profoundly grateful for her extraordinary service to the nation over so many years.

“Supplying the royal household is a privilege, and all at Donald Russell extend our heartfelt condolences to the royal family.

“We are working through what the next couple of weeks and beyond looks like – which will be the focus of the coming days.”

Donald Russell chief executive Ken Clow.

Christopher Leigh, chief executive of Aberdeen salmon smokery John Ross Jr and also a past president of the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association in Aberdeen – said he did not feel it was “appropriate for us to comment” on the firm’s warrant at this stage.

But he said he expected the association, which assists the Lord Chamberlain’s office with the administration of the scheme, would likely make a statement later on.

Mr Leigh added: “We are profoundly sad, both professionally and personally, at the loss of our extraordinary queen.

“Her majesty offered enormous support to British enterprise.

“We will always be so proud of our association and service to her majesty and the royal household”

Christopher Leigh, chief executive at John Ross Jr (Aberdeen).

Family-owned cashmere and woollens company Johnstons of Elgin said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

“For her lifetime of service and duty, we have great admiration and gratitude. Our thoughts are with the royal family at this time.”

Walker’s Shortbread, of Aberlour, said it was unable to comment until “a review of the warrants was concluded”.

Royal warrants granted by King Charles as the Duke of Rothesay

  • Braemar Mountain Sports, Braemar.
  • Campbell’s of Beauly, Beauly.
  • D Johnston & Co (trading name for Laphroaig), Islay.
  • Deeside Deli, Ballater.
  • George Strachan, Aboyne.
  • HM Sheridan, Ballater.
  • James Cocker & Sons, Aberdeen.
  • John Pringle, Ballater.
  • Johnstons of Elgin, Elgin.
  • Lamont Sporrans, Braemar.
  • Mikhail Pietranek, Ballater.
  • Perfectshine Window Cleaning, Blackburn, Aberdeenshire.
  • Powerwasher Services, Laurencekirk.
  • Roy Cowie Land-Based Services, Banchory.
  • Wark Farm, Cushnie, near Alford.

Royal warrants granted by Queen Elizabeth II