When we visited Harrods in 1997, the corner of the store boasted 4 large heraldic badges, evidence of warrants from the Royal Family households of the Queen, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, and the Prince of Wales.
A royal warrant is an advertising ploy that can be given to merchants who sell goods or services to the Royal Family (basically they say that someone royal shops here). They are reviewed every 5 years, and Harrods has had royal warrants since 1910. As a tourist, I was interested in these things, especially the second one - what is an almost-naked guy doing there?
I recently found out these are no longer on Harrods. When Prince Philip's warrant to Harrods came up for review in 2000, it was decided that his household doesn’t do business there anymore, and Harrods was informed that the warrant would not be renewed. It’s possible that Queen’s and Prince of Wales’ warrant may have followed suit when their review came up (the Queen Mother’s warrant was not subject to review). However, after the death of Princess Diana and Mr. Fayed’s son Dodi, Harrods owner Mr. Fayed was very angry at the royal family. Knowing he lost one warrant and anticipating losing more, Mr. Fayed took them all down. Then, in a 2011 TV documentary, just to show how mad he was, he hauled them out of storage and burned them. He also banned Prince Philip from Harrods, although I don't imagine Prince Philip cares very much. But I hate it that he burned these things - I really liked them! To satisfy an old curiosity, I looked them up:
1. The Queen's shield has 3 lions for England in 2 quarters, another lion for Scotland, and a harp for Ireland, all surrounded by a garter (the Order of the Garter is an ultra-prestigious, ultra-exclusive order of chivalry that dates back to 1348). The “supporters” on either side of the shield are a crowned lion and a unicorn. The French motto "Dieu et mon Droit” translates to “God and my right” (King Henry V added the “my right” part when he claimed the French crown).
2. Prince Philip's shield has three lions for Denmark, a cross for Greece, two bars for Battenberg/ Mountbatten, and a castle for Edinburgh, all surrounded by a garter. It's topped with a plume of five ostrich feathers, and the supporters are Hercules (so that's the almost-naked guy!) and a crowned lion. The motto is ’God Is My Help’.
3. The Queen Mother has a busy shield, combining UK's coat of arms with her father’s, the Earl of Strathmore. It includes 9 lions, 6 bows, and a harp. It's topped with a crown and supported by a crowned lion and a half-red lion.
4. The Prince of Wales' badge is the simplest one, with three large white ostrich feathers and a gold coronet. A ribbon below the coronet bears the motto "Ich dien", which is German for ”I serve”.