Royal Bra Maker Loses the Queen's Support

Caroline Hallemann
Photo credit: Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

From Town & Country

Earlier this week, it was revealed that luxury British lingerie company Rigby & Peller has lost its royal warrant after former bra-fitter to the Queen June Keaton referenced her trips to Buckingham Palace in her autobiography, Storm in a D-Cup.

(Feel free to insert your own "losing the Queen's support" joke here.)

Keaton, who served as the official "corsetiere" to the monarch during the '70s and '80s, told the BBC, “I'm very sad Buckingham Palace took exception to the story - it's a kind and gentle story about what went on in my life."

The book reportedly includes details of conversations Keaton had with the Queen Mother, as well as anecdotes about Princess Diana. "I only ever said I went there, not what happened. I have never, ever spoken about what I do there with her, or the Queen Mother or Princess Margaret," said Keaton. "I think it's unbelievable. It's just upsetting at the end of my life, but what can I do. I can't fight with Buckingham Palace and I wouldn't want to, but it's hard."

Rigby & Peller had held its warrant for 57 years. Warrants indicate a royal's seal of approval, and are often cherished by the companies that hold them, given they can be effective marketing tools.

According to Halcyon Days, a luxury gift company specializing in enamel objets d’art, "A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a mark of recognition of those companies who have supplied goods or services to the British Royal Households for at least five years, and who have an ongoing trading arrangement. There are currently three Royal Warrants for goods supplied to the Households: Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales."

Halcyon Days is one of only a handful of companies to hold all three warrants concurrently.

The Royal Warrant Association told the BBC that "20 to 40 Royal Warrants are cancelled every year, and a similar number granted." Rigby & Peller is hardly the first company to lose its status in a scandalous fashion.

For example, in 2000, Harrods lost its royal warrant from Duke of Edinburgh. At the time, the Palace said the drop of designation stemmed from a "significant decline in the trading relationship" between Prince Philip and the department store, but some believe that isn't the whole story.

According to the BBC, "Prince Philip was angered by allegations made by owner Mohamed al Fayed accusing the Duke of masterminding the 1997 car crash in Paris that killed Diana, Princess of Wales and his son Dodi."

Volkswagen voluntarily removed the warrant from its letterheads in 2015 after an emissions scandal required a million cars, including some of the Queen's, to be recalled in the U.K., per the Daily Mail. And in 1999, the royal warrant for tobacco company Benson & Hedges was revoked. The official statement from the Palace indicated that the change was "due to a lack of demand in royal households," but according to the Guardian, the "unofficial" reason was that "the Queen did not want to be seen to be endorsing products that killed her subjects."

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