We are primarily a social group with a very important bond between us; we are all tradesmen providing services or goods to Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales, and are proud holders of Royal Warrants.
Windsor Castle is very special being in continuous use as a Royal Residence since William the Conqueror making Windsor Warrant Holders one of the proudest associations of warrant holders.
Windsor is the oldest Warrant Holders Association, dating back to 1810 when the tradesman serving the Castle first formally dined together.
In 1827 the King provided a buck to roast for the annual banquet this tradition continued until 1947 stopping only because of rationing after World War II.
Since 1928 members of the Royal Household have been invited to the banquets and in 1962 The Duke of Edinburgh attended.
Today we meet socially at least twice a year, normally with a President's Evening and our wonderful, formal banquet normally held at the impressive Guildhall in Windsor.
Ladies have been allowed to attend the annual banquet since 1974.
In 1987 The Windsor Warrant Holders amalgamated with the other warrant branches, Sandingham, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and joined the national Warrant Holders Association in London, by doing this we are able to assist the London based Royal Warrant Holders Association with all businesses occurring at Windsor Castle, ensuring good working and social partnership between Windsor Castle and the national Royal Warrant Association.
However, the Windsor Royal Warrant Holders have sent a representative to the London Council since 1955.
The Windsor Warrant Holders has a chain of office that has been engraved with each president's name since 1933, and is worn proudly by each president at any Warrant Holders function.
President 2013: Douglas Hill
Vice-President: Gary Short
Secretary: Derek Bishop
Treasurer: Jonathan Palmer
In 1990 The Royal Warrant Holders Association raised in excess of £700,000 from the membership to mark the 90th Birthday of The Queen Mother and the 150th Anniversary of the Association.
A charitable trust fund was subsequently established which Her Majesty The Queen Mother graciously allowed to be named The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.
Today the trust has assets in excess of £2 million.
The aim of the trust is to further the advancement in the UK of modern and traditional crafts and trades by using income from the Fund to make cash grants of between £2,000 - £15,000 to individual craftsmen and women.
The trust favours those who have already demonstrated both a talent for and a commitment to their trade or craft, have a clear idea about how the award would be used and what it would allow them to achieve The Scholarship must be spent on 'training', which can include; attendance on course and/or seminars, undertaking periods of work experience or apprenticeships, both in UK or abroad.
The trust does not award scholarships either for general further education courses or for ‘in house’ training where this should clearly be the responsibility of the employer. Similarly it does not fund business start ups or the purchasing of equipment for an individual or a business.
Further information may be obtained from: The Secretary, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, 1 Buckingham Place, London, SW1E 6HR, Tel: 0207 828 2268
Email: Website: www.qest.org.uk
The concept of the Royal Warrant of Appointment dates back to the advent of the monarchy.
The King and his court had to be provided for and, understandably, had first call on the services of the most proficient in the land.
In return, being a Royal Tradesman conferred certain trading benefits over those not so recognised.
By the 15th Century, Royal Tradesmen were formally appointed in writing by means of a Royal Warrant issued by Lord Chamberlain, a practice which continues to this day.
During the 18th century, Royal Tradesmen started also to display the Royal Arms on their premises.
The Royal Warrant Holders Association can trace it beginnings back to 1840 when a group of Royal Tradesmen established the custom of holding an annual dinner to celebrate 'Her Majesty's Birthday'.
In due course, they formed themselves into an association, more concerned with the rights and privileges conferred by the Royal Warrant.
In 1907 The Royal Warrant Holders Association was incorporated by Royal Charter to promote and safeguard the interests of its members.
With each new monarch would often come a distinct shift in the type and style of Warrant holder being appointed.
Queen Victoria's list, for example, was surprising in the exuberance.
However, it is not just the changing tastes of the monarchy that are reflected in the list of Warrant Holders.
Fashion, technology - life itself - have in certain areas, changed the requirements of the Royal Household almost beyond recognition compared with a century ago.
Today, the Royal Warrant is held by companies big and small, traditional and contemporary as well as both urban and rural based.
To qualify for a Royal Warrant tradesman must supply the member of the Royal Family concerned, or their Household, with products or services in significant quantity over a period of at least five years.
The Royal Warrant of Appointment has always been a symbol of excellence and quality - much treasured by those to whom it is granted.
The earliest record of Royal Approval dates back to 1155 when Henry II granted a Royal Charter to the Weavers Company.
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Until the reign Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901), the Warrant holders totalled as few as 25. It was this monarch that was responsible for the prestige and prominence that Royal Warrant holders can be proud of today.
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The Royal Warrant is granted to a named individual, who must be an executive director or partner of the company concerned, and who is then responsible for ensuring that the Warrant is correctly used.
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New applicants are considered annually by a committee presided over by the Lord Chamberlain.
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The final decision to grant a Royal Warrant of Appointment is made by the member of the Royal Family concerned. Royal Warrants are normally granted for a period of 5 years.