By Appointment: The Official Shops™ of Prince Charles

Over the last couple of weeks the British newspapers have lapped up the story of a troubled 28 year old junkie named Jemima Phillips, found guilty on Monday of handling stolen goods.

If it wasn’t for one small detail her story would be a familiar, and pathetic, one. Attractive young girl with drug addiction and history of disastrous relationships meets older junkie/drug dealer boy when he hands her a bag of heroin on a street corner. They become a couple and turn to petty crime to help finance their habit.

Got any gear your Highness?

The small detail is, Jemima Phillips used to be Prince Charles’ official Royal Harpist.

The story, of course, then becomes gold to the porcine scribblers from the British tabloids.

“PRINCE CHARLES’S HARPIST HOOKED ON HEROIN AND CRACK COCAINE”… squealed the Daily Express.

“HOOKED ON HEROIN AS I PLAYED THE HARP FOR PRINCE CHARLES”… oinked the Daily Mail.

“CHARLES HARPIST ‘RAIDED’ HOUSES”… snorted The Sun.

What startled me about the story was – Prince Charles has a Royal Harpist!?!?!?

I’m not sure why it surprised me. He appointed Jemima, his first Royal Harpist, in 2001 but the Royal Family has always had a cosy relationship with shops and manufacturers of items they may desire, so why should harp playing be any different?

The Royal Warrant is bestowed “By Appointment” by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or Prince Charles to providers of goods or services to certain members of the Royal Family and act as a form of celebrity endorsement; although the Royal Warrant Holders Association is quick to point out that “holding a warrant does not imply (my italics) the goods or services are provided free of charge”. So, out of curiosity, I decided to look up which other services had received Charles’ Royal Thumbs Up…

First off the bat I notice the Prince is partial to the exotic mushrooms, herbs and wild berries from McPhersons Atlantic Ltd. Whenever he needs a new swimming pool, Brickell Swimming Pools race round and start digging while His Royal Majesty sips a Juniper Green organic gin and tonic. Military uniforms are by Welsh and Jefferies, medals and awards (like the Danish Order of the Elephant awarded in 1974) by Spink and Son and, should His Royal Highness require a robe, a minion gets on the line to Royal robemakers, Ede & Ravenscroft.

Piano tuner to the future king? The Royal National College for the Blind.

His preference is for smoked salmon from Pinneys of Scotland although, if he’s catching his own, he’ll use a rod and tackle from Clan Fishing Rods and wellies from the, rather dully named, Farlow’s Group Ltd. He’ll shoot things with guns from Holland and Holland, shelter under an umbrella from his Mum’s whipmaker Swaine Adeney Brigg and soak in a bath scented with essential oils from Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie Ltd. His Royal kilt is from Kinloch Anderson, his flags (he has three Royal standards) from Flying Colours Flagmakers and, at night, he and the Duchess of Cornwall snuggle up in a  (King-size?) Sleepeezee bed.

It’s a strange peek into a rather strange life. One that is as cosseted by privilege as it is shackled by duty.

And, as for the Royal harpist, the present incumbent 23 year old Claire Jones currently features none of the embarrassing proclivities of her predecessor.

Jemima Phillips, meanwhile, has been remanded on bail until sentencing on 22nd December.

 

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One Response

  1. […] https://notesfromthebartender.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/by-appointment-the-official-shops%E2%84%A2-of-…The Royal Warrant is bestowed “By Appointment” by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or Prince Charles to providers of goods or services to certain members of the Royal Family and act as a form of celebrity endorsement; although the Royal … Farlow’s Group Ltd. He’ll shoot things with guns from Holland and Holland, shelter under an umbrella from his Mum’s whipmaker Swaine Adeney Brigg and soak in a bath scented with essential oils from Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie Ltd. … […]

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