Born and bred in London, the Queen knows the capital’s makers and merchants well. Lucy King takes a look at how Her Majesty’s best-loved brands, restaurants and shops will be marking her Platinum Jubilee
The images of families crowding around the television on 2 June 1953 are so familiar, no matter what age you are: whole streets up and down the country crammed into the sitting rooms of those who were lucky enough to own a set, catching a glimpse of the young princess walking sombrely up the nave of Westminster Abbey on her way to become Queen Elizabeth II.
The coronation, which took place a year after the accession, sparked a flurry of souvenirs – from commemorative tea towels to china plates – many of them produced by Royal Warrant holders who were commissioned to assist with the preparations for the coronation. Following the appointment of the new monarch, with her own households and preferences, a new raft of warrants were handed out – many of which have been renewed time and time again over the past seven decades – and the Queen soon had her own favourite places, foods and brands.
The Queen is a true Londoner. Born in Mayfair, until recently the capital was her primary residence (post-pandemic she’s now based at Windsor Castle) and Buckingham Palace has been not just her London home for almost all of her 70 years on the throne, but her office too. Of course, most of the Queen’s entertaining has been done in the magnificent state rooms there, but the monarch has been known to very much enjoy lunch out in the capital.
The Goring and Claridge’s are two of her most regular favourites – but she’s also been spotted at The Ivy on West Street, and Bellamy’s in Bruton Place (just around the corner, literally, from where she was born at 17 Bruton Street) as well as, of course, The Ritz. The Ritz was awarded a Royal Warrant in 2002 (for banqueting and catering services, the same year the Queen hosted a 50th Golden Jubilee anniversary dinner there) and in 2006 her 80th birthday celebrations were held in the hotel’s Ritz Club. The hotel is holding a four-course dinner and ball on 2 June, where a 19-piece big band will entertain guests.
The Goring, the venue of choice for many of the Queen’s overseas royal relatives during the coronation – and the only hotel to have been granted a royal warrant for hospitality services– is celebrating in numerous ways. Its Jubilee Fizz – a Champagne cocktail created just for the occasion – includes a dash of Dubonnet, a favourite aperitif of Her Majesty and of the late Queen Mother. Or enjoy The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea, available until 1 September; meanwhile the Dining Room revisits some of the coronation dishes, including Filet de Edinburgh, now updated to Dover sole with garnish ‘Edinburgh’, and parfait aux fraises making a return as Crown of English strawberry parfait.
Across Green Park and onto Piccadilly, Fortnum & Mason is said to be Her Majesty’s favourite London department store. Royal Warrant holders since 1910 (with a short break when rationing came in during the Second World War) and associated with the royal household since 1707, it was at Fortnum’s that for a long while the Queen personally did her Christmas shopping. On the fourth floor is the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, named in honour of Her Majesty’s 2012 visit, back when she was celebrating a mere 60 years on the throne. It’s unsurprising then, that Fortnum’s has gone all out with the commemorative souvenirs and food-hall treats. There’s a Jubilee Tea Party Hamper, £150, packed with delights to enjoy, perhaps while also using Fortnum’s limited-edition jubilee plate, bone-china teacup, saucer, and tea towel (£12.95).
Just around the corner is Paxton & Whitfield on Jermyn Street, cheesemonger to the Queen. The company has held the Royal Warrant of Appointment to every monarch since Queen Victoria, and this year celebrates its own landmark 225th anniversary. Special cheese cakes, designed to be show-stopping centrepieces at summer parties can be ordered in store or online. The Elizabeth Cheese Cake is £450 and serves 200 people.
Another royal favourite in St James’s is Rachel Trevor-Morgan, maker of the Queen’s hats. Trevor-Morgan made her first hat for the Queen in 2006 for Her Majesty’s 80th birthday service at St Paul’s Cathedral, and was granted a Royal Warrant in 2016. “The pride that I feel at seeing Her Majesty in one of my designs never diminishes,” she says. However, there’s always an element of surprise. “We’re never party to what the Queen will wear on what day, so it’s with eager anticipation that we wait to see what she has on her head and whether it will be one of ours!”
All that shopping – and of course her never-ending work appointments – require comfortable footwear. A neat 2¼-inch heel, an almond toe and waterproofed leather: for more than 50 years the monarch has worn the same style from Anello & Davide. Tucked away behind Kensington High Street, this boutique has been making bespoke shoes for the great and good since it opened in 1922.
The Queen’s shoemaker David Hyatt once noted, “We supply one or two pairs a year and occasionally renew the tops and re-heel them. The Queen doesn’t waste money – she’s no Imelda Marcos.” The royal family’s other leather goods go-to is warrant-holder Ettinger – established in 1934 and purveyor of beautifully-made, British-designed accessories.
Back in Mayfair, another of the Queen’s favourite London establishments is Floris – a Royal Warrant holder since 1820 when George IV appointed John Floris as his ‘smooth pointed comb maker’. This purveyor of aftershaves, soaps, pomades and fragrances has had a shop at 89 Jermyn Street since 1730 and the Queen is said to wear the perfume White Rose created by Floris at the Jermyn Street shop in the early 1800s.
To celebrate her milestone, Floris has launched a fragrance in the Queen’s honour: Platinum 22 takes its inspiration from the flora of Her Majesty’s gardens and is a woody-fruity blend that includes orris, lime, rich rose and violet. No doubt after celebrating this momentous occasion, it’s to those gardens that she will retreat.
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