Royal favourites: Charles and Camilla’s London

Charles and Camilla
Credit: Hugo Burnand/Buckingham Palace/PA Media


The reign of King Charles and Queen Camilla will herald a new dawn of businesses and shops being added to the royal blend of favourites.

Now that Queen Camilla (whose Consort title will be dropped from the coronation date onwards) and Prince William can issue their own royal warrants, expect to see a broader mix of businesses enriching the capital’s royal trail. 

The future of existing warrants

Charles and Camilla
Lock & Co

Some have been royal warrant holders for decades but there’s no guarantee that’ll continue – particularly if they fall foul of His Majesty’s high standards on sustainability, environmental credentials and Britishness.

Royal warrants are valid for five years, but may not be renewed if the quality of the product or service declines. A warrant can also be cancelled if the grantee dies or leaves the business, or if the firm goes bankrupt or is sold to a new owner.

The King’s favourite interior designer Robert Kime, for example, who refurbished Clarence House, died last year, which may put the business’s royal warrant in peril. As may the catering arm of restaurant Mossiman’s after its Swiss founder handed the business to his sons at the end of 2021.

It’s also not a given that the late Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s warrants will be continued by Charles either. If not, then they will expire in two years.

Within walking distance

Charles and Camilla
St James’s

The King’s favourite shops in Jermyn Street and neighbouring St James’s have displayed his signature three-feathered coats of arms – issued when he was Prince of Wales – for decades, revealing him to be a man loyal to his chosen brands and not much keen on change. 

All his favourite haunts are a short stroll from Buckingham Palace and his London roost, the modest five-bedroomed Clarence House, where he spent his childhood before his mother was crowned and that was home to his beloved grandmother until her death in 2002.

Town and country

Charles and Camilla

His favourite hatters Lock & Co, the oldest hat maker in the world, in St James’s Street, has covered his head for years and more recently, those of his Queen and son William, the new Prince of Wales. 

Charles bought his polo caps there and in 1981 Diana, the late Princess of Wales bought her first – and probably last – riding hat. Lock & Co even designed a fibre-glass polo cap for his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, complete with his HRH pattern. 

Mr Lock was even called upon by Garrards while they were remodelling the Imperial State Crown for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 to devise a fixture to make it feel lighter on the royal head. 

“Now we provide hats more for the King and Queen’s rural, country pursuits,” explains Lock hatter Patrick O’Connor. 

Charles was introduced to his favourite shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser by his beloved uncle, the late Lord Mountbatten, who also influenced his taste in boots. John Lobb still has Mountbatten’s lasts. 

Charles and Camilla

The King prefers understated shirts made from cotton woven in Italy. He never wears contrasting collars, and if he does choose a more relaxed pattern, his preference is for a Bengal stripe. T&A have also supplied shirts to William and Harry, as well as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie’s husbands. 

“The King is the figurehead of British menswear. He first came in here as a 20 year old,” says James Cook, bespoke manager of Turnbull & Asser for 27 years. “We’re his longest warrant holder.”

The shop has a signed photo of Charles in one of their shirts in 1997, and another signed by Diana with William and Harry in theirs in 1988.

Fit for a King

Charles and Camilla

All of these outlets evoke another era. Tricker’s, another of the King’s favourite shoemakers and the oldest in Britain having been established in 1829, has original oak drawers where the shoes are stowed.

Others which date from the 17th and 18th centuries, boast wood-panelled interiors, neat stacks of folded garments, displays of silk handkerchiefs, and nods to Britishness, such as the complete works of Shakespeare on display.

His favourite bespoke tailor Gieves & Hawkes, famous for its livery and military uniforms worn by immediate members of the royal family, was founded in 1771 and boasts the smart address of no 1 Savile Row. G&H also fashions the new monarch’s suits and recently altered his jacket style from double breasted to the more comfortable single breasted. 

Favourite foods

Charles and Camilla
Paxton & Whitfield

Even his favourite cheesemongers, the oldest in Britain, has a royal warrant. Paxton & Whitfield on Jermyn Street dates from 1742 and was a favourite of his grandmother’s and also Winston Churchill, who loved its stilton.

The shop sells 60 per cent British cheeses – and is within a truckle-roll of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House. To mark 6 May, Paxton & Whitfield has launched a £60 Coronation Cheese Cake and a Little Box of Coronation Cheese which will retail for £40.

But it’s not just high-class London tailors and posh cheesemongers that have shaped our new King’s tastes. 

He loves a good curry and declared that his favourite curry house was the modestly-named Brilliant in Southall. The family-run restaurant opened in 1975 and has a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, which suits the King on the two days a week when he doesn’t eat meat.

They first hosted the King and Queen in 2007. Only in February this year, during a trip to Brick Lane, the King couldn’t help but stop at local curry house, Graam Bangla, where he was given a takeaway.

Best of British

Charles and Camilla
Jo Hansford

Queen Camilla shares many of her husband’s tastes – they both love books and she’s likely to add her warrant to Charles’s favourite bookshop Hatchards in Piccadilly.

She also may want to award royal warrants to her favourite London designers, such as Bruce Oldfield and Fiona Clare, as well as her London hair stylist Jo Hansford, who has been maintaining her honey-blonde layered flicked back bob for 30 years.

Bruce Oldfield, the man who gave Diana glamour and Camilla confidence, is making the Queen’s coronation robe but has been in her fashion firmament for the past decade. 

And Fiona Clare has been Camilla’s fashion ‘rhythm-maker’ for more than 30 years, as has royal milliner Philip Treacy. “I know that the Queen is hoping to give her dressmakers royal warrants, such as Roy Allen, Fiona Clare, Bruce Oldfield and Anna Valentine,” says Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine.

Fashion forward favourites

Charles and Camilla
Philip Treacy

She may even give warrants to upmarket, ready-to-wear clothing labels such as LK Bennett, which the Princess of Wales also wears, and high-street accessories chain Russell & Bromley, where she bought her favourite suede knee-high boots. LK Bennett is also a champion of slow fashion which Camilla likes, and has a recycling scheme – ticking both her husband’s sustainability and environmental boxes.

Her other trusted brands are Burberry, Dior, and designer Roy Allen, 81, who had a royal warrant from the Queen Mother and has been designing royal women’s wardrobes for some 65 years. 

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