Queen Elizabeth II's lingerie maker Rigby & Peller has lost its royal warrant after its former owner described fittings with royal members. The brand was one of some 800 companies allowed to use the royal coat of arms.
Rigby & Peller, once Queen Elizabeth II's preferred luxury lingerie brand, was forced to pull the royal coat of arms from its products on Thursday after having its royal warrant revoked.
A spokesman for the Royal Warrant Holders, an association of official suppliers to the Royal Household, confirmed that Rigby & Peller had had its warrant cancelled but declined to go into details. "A royal warrant can be cancelled at any time for various reasons," the spokesman said, adding that royal warrants are also reviewed every five years.
However, former owner June Kenton said she had been told by Buckingham Palace six months ago that the company would have its royal warrant rescinded over her memoirs, in which she detailed personal bra fittings with the Queen and Princess Diana.
In the book entitled "Storm in a D-Cup," Kenton described her first bra-fitting sessions with a half-dressed Queen Elizabeth in the 1980s and wrote how she thought the monarch's decision to ignore the Queen Mother's advice on hats might have gone on to be problematic.
Kenton also said that after Princess Diana came in for bra fittings, she would take home posters of lingerie models for her teenage sons, William and Harry. "I never met Diana's boys, but I used to give her lingerie and swimwear posters for them to put up in their studies at Eton," she wrote.
Kenton defended her memoir, describing it as a "kind and gentle story about what went on in my life." The book, she insisted, was not a tell-all but a celebration of the success of the business.
She added: "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."
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Kenton and her husband bought Rigby & Peller for 20,000 pounds ($27,100, €22,500) back in 1982, going on to sell a majority stake to Belgian luxury lingerie maker Van de Velde for 8 million pounds in 2011. Kenton remains on the company's board of directors.
Former Rigby & Peller owner Kenton insisted that her book recounting royal bra-fittings was never meant as a tell-all.
The royal family's preferred suppliers
A royal warrant is the official mark given to suppliers to royals. Those brands are allowed to display the royal coat of arms on their products and business cards.
Some 800 companies currently boast the royal warrant, including the monarch's favorite umbrella maker Fulton, tailor Henry Poole and luxury grocer Fortnum & Mason.
London's luxury department store Harrods lost its warrant in 2000 after Egyptian owner Mohamed al Fayed accused the Crown of planning the deaths of Diana and his son Dodi. The royal family, he claimed, masterminded the 1997 Paris car crash to prevent the princess from marrying a Muslim.
dm/ng (AP, AFP, dpa)