SMI TCE Jubilee 4304

Discovering London's Regal Legacy: Historic West End Businesses

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To celebrate His Majesty's Coronation, we invite you to join us for a special tour of historic businesses in the West End that hold Royal Warrants. Explore the extraordinary history and exceptional craftsmanship of these iconic brands and institutions, showcasing the best of the craftsmanship and artistry in London’s West End.

Event Info

Date & Time

May 05 - May 08


West End, London, UK

Royal Warrants

So what’s a Royal Warrant? It's a symbol that signifies a business has received approval from the Royal Family to provide goods or services to the Royal Household. The Monarch and select members of the Royal Family, including the late HM The Queen, have the ability to grant Royal Warrants.

The history of Royal Warrants dates back to 1155 when King Henry II granted a Royal Charter to the Weaver's Company, granting them the right to trade in the City of London. The tradition of displaying Royal Arms began in the 18th century, and in 1840, the Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed, with over 800 grantees today.

So, being awarded a Royal Warrant is a great honour and indicates a high level of prestige for a business. You may have noticed this symbol while walking around St James's and Piccadilly. If you spot a Royal Warrant, rest assured that you are in excellent hands!

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason is not just any retailer. It is an iconic institution in London, located on Piccadilly, with a fascinating history that dates back to the early 18th century.

If you're strolling along Piccadilly look up at the clock on the storefront. Every hour, two figures appear: William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, who founded the store together.

William and Hugh came from different backgrounds: Hugh was a successful businessman with a small store in St James’s Market. William was a builder drawn to the growing West End of London after the devastating Great Fire of 1666. Their paths crossed when William Fortnum took a job in the Royal household of Queen Anne and rented a spare room from Hugh Mason.

In 1707, the two men joined forces to open a grocery store that would quickly become known for supplying the highest quality food, tea and preserves to London's gentry. But Fortnum & Mason also experimented with new ideas, such as the invention of the scotch egg in 1738, which became the perfect travelling snack.

Today, Fortnum & Mason holds not one, but two Royal Warrants, a testament to its reputation for excellence. The Warrants are issued by HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales and are a mark of recognition for businesses that have provided goods or services to the Royal Households for at least Six years.

Royal Academy of Arts

In 1768, a visionary group of 36 artists and architects banded together to sign a petition that would forever change the art world. Their bold request? To establish a society that promotes and celebrates the Arts of Design through exhibitions and school.

The petition was presented to King George III by the esteemed architect Sir William Chambers, who was responsible for the magnificent Somerset House. With the King's blessing, the Royal Academy of Arts was born.

Fast forward to the present day, and the RA still maintains a unique connection with the British monarchy. Her Majesty The Queen served as a Patron, Protector, and Supporter of the Academy. She even paid a personal visit in 2018 to commemorate their 250th Anniversary, underscoring the enduring significance of this prestigious institution.

Initially based at Somerset House, the Academy later moved to Burlington House in 1867 after a brief period of sharing space with the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Thanks to the savvy negotiating skills of the then-RA President, Francis Grant, the Academy secured an enviable lease: a mere £1 per year for 999 years. And so, the RA has thrived and grown within the walls of Burlington House, cementing its reputation as a vital force in the art world for centuries to come.

Burlington Arcade

Burlington Arcade is a historic shopping arcade built in 1819 by Samuel Ware at the request of Lord George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington. The Earl commissioned the arcade to provide a safe place for his wife and other genteel folk to shop, but it was also rumoured that he wanted to oust his neighbours who were discarding oyster shells in his garden.

Today, the arcade is an iconic shopping destination, known for offering a taste of the high life. Originally housing 51 boutiques, it now has 46 independent shops that offer luxurious goods such as hats, gloves, and jewellery. It was once the go-to place for the latest bonnets and is now considered the "jewel in Mayfair".

Stretching an impressive 196 yards long, Burlington Arcade is one of the longest shopping arcades in Britain. Its rich history is evident in every corner, and it has been a glamorous and refined destination for over 200 years. With 4 million visitors every year, it's a must-see for anyone looking to experience a piece of British history.

The Ritz London

The Ritz London is a true gem of London, owned by a British family and offering unparalleled luxury and service to its guests. As the world's first hotel to be awarded a Royal Warrant by HRH The Prince of Wales for Banqueting and Catering Services, The Ritz London has cemented its reputation as one of the most prestigious hotels in the world.

Located on Piccadilly n, The Ritz London boasts stunning views of Green Park and provides guests with easy access to some of the city's most iconic landmarks and attractions.

The hotel also boasts the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant, where guests can indulge in exquisite cuisine and fine wines. The elegant dining room provides the perfect setting for a special occasion or romantic dinner.


Hatchards, London's oldest bookstore, has a rich history dating back to 1797 when it was founded by John Hatchard. In just four years, Hatchard had established himself as a trailblazer in the London book trade, pioneering the promotion of book reading and sales.

Over time, the Piccadilly location of Hatchards evolved into a hub for social reformers, drawing prominent figures such as William Wilberforce, an anti-slavery campaigner. The business also caught the attention of royalty, with Queen Charlotte, wife of King George II, among its early customers.

One of the many things that set Hatchards apart is its unparalleled ability to match the perfect book with every customer. This level of excellence has earned Hatchards three Royal Warrants, from HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH The Prince of Wales, cementing its reputation as the go-to bookstore for the royal family and discerning readers alike.


Discover the captivating tale of Floris, a renowned perfumery that has been creating exquisite fragrances for over 300 years. It all began in 1730 when Juan Famenias Floris and his wife Elizabeth founded their shop, offering bespoke perfumes, top-notch combs, and brushes.

From those humble beginnings, the Floris family has been crafting luxurious scents using the finest essential oils and essences sourced from around the globe. Every bottle of perfume they create is a masterpiece, a symphony of art and science, meticulously blended with an innovative yet sustainable approach.

Today, Floris Perfumery remains a family-owned business, with the 8th and 9th generations at the helm, and holds prestigious Royal Warrants from both the late HM Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales.

John Lobb

The story of John Lobb is a remarkable tale of a farm boy with grand ambitions. Born in 1829, he walked from Cornwall to London in 1851 to pursue his dreams of becoming a renowned bootmaker. This journey, no doubt, gave him an appreciation for quality footwear that would later define his work.

Lobb's ingenuity was put to the test during the gold rush when he travelled to Australia. He invented a groundbreaking hollow-heeled boot that enabled workers to smuggle nuggets of gold, demonstrating his innovative spirit.

Upon returning to England, Lobb's talents were recognised when he crafted a bespoke pair of riding boots for the future King George IV, earning his first Royal Warrant. This was the beginning of a long and illustrious career for Lobb.

Today, John Lobb's legacy lives on at 29 St James's Street, where the 5th generation of the Lobb family continues to create their renowned handmade-to-measure shoes and boots. They cater to the most discerning tastes and requirements and have been granted Royal Warrants from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. It's a testament to John Lobb's enduring legacy and commitment to quality that his brand continues to thrive to this day.

Paxton & Whitfield

Paxton & Whitfield is Britain's oldest cheesemonger, founded in the late 18th century by Sam Cullum, Harry Paxton, and Charles Whitfield.

They received their first Royal Warrant in 1850, were appointed as cheesemongers to Queen Victoria, and have since held seven Royal Warrants.

Today, reflecting their commitment to artisanal cheese-making and exceptional quality, they continue to hold the Royal Warrant from both (the late Queen/ Queen Elizabeth II)I and HRH The Prince of Wales.


Prestat, a celebrated chocolatier established in 1902, traces its roots back to Antoine DuFour who brought his family’s chocolate truffle recipe to England in 1895. The likes of Roald Dahl and the Royal family have savoured their delectable chocolates.

In recognition of their exceptional craftsmanship, Prestat was bestowed with its first Royal Warrant from HM The Queen in 1975. And in 1999, The Queen Mother further acknowledged their exquisite chocolates by granting them another Royal Warrant.

As one of the few British artisan chocolatiers to make all its chocolates, Prestat retains complete control over recipes and sourcing of raw ingredients, preserving the natural aromatics of cacao in some of its products.

Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser is a British heritage brand that has been creating luxurious and made-to-measure shirts and ties since 1885. The brand's superior craftsmanship and impeccable service have earned them the prestigious title of Royal Warrant holders, appointed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 1980.

Today, whenever in need of a new shirt, the Prince of Wales still heads to Bury Street where he can find the bespoke service that has become synonymous with the Turnbull & Asser brand. Their commitment to creating exquisite garments has stood the test of time, and the brand's dedication to quality continues to be evident in every stitch of their finely crafted apparel.

From royalty to Hollywood stars and artists on the stage, Turnbull & Asser remains the go-to for the world's most discerning customers.

Bentley & Skinner

A world of luxury and elegance with Bentley & Skinner, a prestigious Mayfair-based boutique that has been synonymous with the finest jewels, antiques, and works of art for almost a century.

With roots dating back to the late 1800s, Bentley & Skinner has a rich heritage that speaks to the connoisseurship of its founders and their passion for exquisite craftsmanship. Today, the boutique has been honoured with a Royal Appointment from both the late Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, cementing its status as one of the most distinguished jewellers in the world.

At Bentley & Skinner, you'll discover a stunning collection of jewels, including rare and precious stones sourced from around the globe. The boutique's exquisite pieces have graced the pages of countless fashion magazines, and its reputation for excellence is second to none.

Royal Connections

His Majesty's Theatre

His Majesty's Theatre is an iconic venue that has been a cornerstone of London's cultural scene for generations. Originally established as the Queen's Theatre in 1705, it is the second oldest theatre site in London. The theatre has a rich legacy of hosting premieres by famous composers such as Handel, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Gounod, Bizet and even the first complete performance of Wagner's Ring Cycle.

The current theatre building, the fourth on the site, was constructed in 1897 and has since been the home of the world-famous musical, Phantom of the Opera, since 1986. In honour of Prince Charles becoming the British monarch, the theatre was renamed His Majesty's Theatre.

Despite its many incarnations, His Majesty's Theatre has always maintained its status as a choice venue for theatre-goers. Its grand architecture, exquisite interior, and state-of-the-art technology provide a truly majestic experience to audiences. From its humble beginnings to its current reign as one of the most iconic cultural institutions in the world, His Majesty's Theatre remains a beloved and celebrated landmark in London's theatre scene.

The Dilly

The Dilly, once recognized as The Piccadilly Hotel when it opened in 1908, is a luxurious hotel situated in the heart of London's West End on Piccadilly. Its reputation for sophistication, elegance, and impeccable service precedes it. Over the years, The Dilly has played host to many prominent guests, including royalty, celebrities, and politicians.

The Dilly's association with royalty dates back to its early years, when King George V frequented the hotel. The king was known to be particularly fond of the hotel's restaurant, which was famous for its fine cuisine and impeccable service. Today, The Dilly continues to be a popular destination for members of the royal family, as well as for visitors from around the world who are looking for a luxurious and unforgettable stay in London.