When you're investing in new equipment to use out in the field - whether it's a bespoke gun, tailored tweeds or a pair of wellies - you want to know that you're getting the best for your money. One way of doing this is to cast an eye over the Royal Warrant holders who supply the HM the Queen, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and HRH the Prince of Wales (who are well-known for their love of country sports). Here are a few to consider ...
Stamped with good manners
Receiving an invitation to shoot is always a pleasure. Forget emails. The elegant way to invite people to shoot is by old-fashioned mail, with a handwritten envelope (in ink) containing an engraved card.
If you’re on the receiving end of an invitation, then responding quickly is all part of key shooting etiquette and having your own cards hand-engraved would be very chic – and useful for the obligatory thank-you letters afterwards. Smythson are the Queen’s stationers so would be a good place to start.
Arriving with a gift for your host or hostess is a smart move. William & Son hold a Royal Warrant and make some stunning shooting-related gifts, like this pair of silver pheasants to add the finishing touch to a dining table. On the other hand you could arrive with a stupendous box of chocolates from the Queen’s chocolatier, Charbonnel et Walker.
Making sure you arrive
An invitation to a shoot in the back of beyond could task a town vehicle beyond its limits. The Queen is known for her love of Land Rovers – and Jaguar Land Rover has many models that are virtually guaranteed to get you through the wildest valleys and furthermost glens.
Dressing the part
A pair of bespoke tweeds is on the wish list of most shooters. If you’re down in London, you could visit Anderson & Sheppard, which is tailor to the Prince of Wales. But for the most atmospheric setting, visit Campbell’s of Beauly, 10 miles west of Inverness which tailors for many of the Scottish grouse moors and makes its sporting tweeds on site.
And even if you’re not one of the Guns, but a spectator at a shoot, you’ll need some solid waterproof clothing. The Prince of Wales is supplied by Farlows, which has been in the business since 1840.
Napoleon said that: “An army marches on its stomach” but a Gun certainly is on his or her feet, if not marching on them. Keep toes warm and dry in a pair of Hunters, who hold Royal Warrants for ‘waterproof footwear’
A gun that fits to perfection
It’s the dream of every Shot to have a gun created to their own specifications. Holland & Holland has made rifles for the Duke of Edinburgh and shotguns for the Prince of Wales. Expect superb craftsmanship.
James Purdey & Sons has been making the finest-quality shotguns and rifles since 1814 and are gunmakers to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales.
But you’ll need patience. There are long waiting lists for both a Holland & Holland and a Purdey bespoke shotgun.
And if you want to be invited to shoot again
Along with the essential thank-you letter, a case of claret or some very good port would be a welcome gift. Berry Bros & Rudd will find the perfect selection for you – it supplies both the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
Royal Warrants are marks of recognition to individuals and companies who have supplied good or services for at least five years to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. They are highly prized, as they show excellence and fine quality.