Royal Grocer Fortnum & Mason's Tribute To The Queen

As the world mourns the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, organizations with ties to the royal family are expressing gratitude for her patronage. In a touching tribute, Fortnum & Mason, the storied upscale market that served as the royal grocer, posted condolences on Instagram: "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1926–2022, In deep and sincere gratitude for a lifetime of service and devotion to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth." She was 96 yearls old and had recently been in failing health. Her husband of 73 years, Prince Phillip, died in April 2021.

The beloved monarch died today surrounded by family at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The 11-room estate, where Queen Elizabeth became engaged to Prince Philip in 1946, according to the New York Post, was among Her Royal Highness's favorite places in the world. It served at the royal family's summer residence while Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were raising a young family. 

Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25 (via Time). She was Britain's longest-serving monarch, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne earlier in 2022. Fortnum & Mason marked the Jubilee with a nationwide pudding competition, calling on bakers to create a new pudding to celebrate the occasion (via The Crown Chronicles).

A history of service

Fortnum & Mason has a long association with the royal family. Established in 1707, the upscale grocer traces its roots to William Fortnum, a footman in Queen Anne's household, and his landlord, Hugh Mason. Via Britain Express, Fortnum began his retail career by recycling candles used by the royal family. Rather than dispose of the partially burned candles, he sold them. The enterprise sparked Mason's to expand the sideline into a bonafide business. Fortnum convinced Mason to join him in opening a grocery store while he leveraged his insider connections. Subsequent generations, including Fortnum's grandson, William, who served in Queen Charlotte's household, expanded the business.

Queen Victoria ordered shipments of Fortnum & Mason's concentrated beef tea for soldiers recuperating in field hospitals during the Crimean War and subsequently issued royal warrants granting permission for the grocer to use the royal family's seal in advertising materials. An extended statement posted on Fortnum & Mason's website references the royal warrant Queen Elizabeth II granted the grocer in 1954.

"It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We are proud to have held a warrant from Her Majesty since 1954, and to have served her and the royal household throughout her life.

"As a sign of our deep respect, we have lowered our flag to half-mast and stopped the Piccadilly façade clock. We are grateful to Her Majesty for a lifetime of devoted service to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth."