America lacks a royal family – we fought a war to make sure of it – so we're spared the spectacle of waiting for the Duchess of Wales to give birth and the boring spectacle of watching the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle. The only real downside of being without a monarch is that there is no American equivalent to Britain's Royal Warrant system, which rewards companies or people who provide goods and services to the royal households. This might all sound a bit posh – and it is – but at least one Rat Catcher has received a warrant. This system, which was codified during Queen Victoria's 64-year reign, is ultimately about quality.
Today, there are about 800 Royal Warrant Holders. What does their special classification give them? They get the right to use the coat of arms and words "Royal Warrant Holder by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen" on company stationery. Brits take this seriously for good reason: Royal family members are excellent at spending their subjects' taxes.
To become a Royal Warrant Holder, a company or individual has to provide a service for more than five years to either HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, or HRH The Prince of Wales. These are the only three Royals who can make appointments. After that time, the application works its way up the royal food chain and is ultimately reviewed by the Lord Chamberlain, who decides whether to pass the request on to the appropriate Royal. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, or Prince Charles then decide whether or not to grant the appointment.
Herewith, a collection of the new and old warrant holders you should know. And yes, Prince William pays for these goods, just like anyone else. The crown doesn't come with coupons.