Seal of approval

On the global stage, the royal warrant is seen as a mark of innovation, the finest quality and service…and good for the environment

From electric road sweepers to luxury cars, the royal warrant is seen worldwide as recognising innovation, and British export sales often benefit as a result.

For Peter Munnoch, technical sales director at Tennant UK (formerly known as Applied Sweepers), whose Green Machines sweep the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, the royal warrant effect is unquantifiable but undeniable.

Eighty per cent of our business is export and when I mention our royal warrant it registers as a plus – Peter Munnoch

“How do you differentiate your product from competitors? Eighty per cent of our business is export, and when I mention our royal warrant it registers as a plus. You can make all sorts of claims about your product – ours is the world’s first lithium ion phosphate suction sweeper – but it has earned Tennant a royal warrant because it’s a good machine with excellent after-sales service.”

At Bentley Motors, which sells to more than 50 countries, Richard Charlesworth claims that the biggest markets – US and China – quote the royal warrant as the reason they buy. “Chinese entrepreneurs regard it as the new must-have car,” says Charlesworth, who rejoices under the splendid job title of director of royal and VIP relations.

Bentley flies the British flag for luxury and performance, in one year delivering both a state limousine and a Le Mans winner. The company has a strong tradition of apprenticeships and hand craftsmanship in wood veneering and hand-stitched leather with several generations of families working together.

Grundon Waste is a family firm, founded in 1929 by Stephen Grundon, the father in- law of Frances Grundon, the current warrant- holder. The company pioneers environmentally acceptable waste collection and new technologies to create energy from waste, but Frances Grundon is particularly proud of achieving a royal warrant. “In most people’s mind it is a subliminal seal of approval,” she says.