Volkswagen announces it has removed its Royal Warrant over emissions scandal as customer complaints continue to rise.
The Queen’s Household owns approximately a dozen Volkswagen cars.
The company confirmed it had removed the coveted Royal Arms from official letterheads and other communications in the wake of public criticisms over the emissions embarrassment.
According to the Royal Warrant Holders Association, Royal Warrants of Appointment are “a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales.” Royal Warrants can currently only be conferred by these three Royals.
Currently, there are over 700 holders of a Royal Warrant.
The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales do not personally hand out Royal Warrants; they must be applied for instead.
Applications are made once a year, around the end of May, and the Royal Warrant Holders Association deals with this. The applicant must have supplied goods or services to one of the three Royals for a minimum of five years.
Royal Warrants are granted, usually for five years, to a named individual only, not to a company. The individual must be “the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Sole Proprietor or the holder of a senior management appointment with direct access to the Board of Directors. This person, the Grantee, is personally responsible for ensuring the Royal Warrant is used correctly.”
“We do not comment on individual warrant holders as these are commercially confidential matters. However, all Royal Warrants are kept under review and must be renewed periodically.” A Buckingham Palace spokesman stated.
VW remains entangled in the greatest debacle in its 78-year history. It has revealed that it fitted 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide with software that cheated emissions regulations by shifting engines to a low-emissions mode when testing. The car company announced the recall of 1.2 million vehicles in the UK to have the software removed. An estimated 8.5 million vehicles were recalled in Europe.
A Volkswagen spokesman said: “In light of the current situation, Volkswagen Group UK has decided to remove the royal warrant logo from communications where it would previously have featured. We have informed Buckingham Palace of our decision. The royal warrant remains extant.”
One may remember another business that not only removed the Royal Arms from it products, stationery, buildings, vehicles, advertising and packaging but discontinued its Royal Warrant holding altogehter. In 2000, Harrods, then owned by Mohamed al-Fayed, chose to take down all its Royal Warrants. One remembers it was Mr al-Fayed’s son, Dodi, that was killed in the Paris car crash in 1997 that also claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.
At the time, it had Warrants for serving The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and The Queen Mother. The Duke wished no longer continue to grant Harrods his Warrant. The shop was allowed to continue displaying the Royal Warrants for the Queen and Prince of Wales for another year before expiration.
Mr al-Fayed said that because neither Her Majesty or Prince Charles had shopped in Harrods for many years, displaying the Warrants would be “totally misleading and hypocritical.” The removal of the Warrants meant that Harrods’ packaging, stationery and vehicles all had to be redesigned and repainted.