A Royal Warrant, By Royal Appointment, was granted to Annie Quigley, the owner of Bibliophile by the His Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh in 2011.
It has been renewed twice since then, most recently until March 2027. Very sadly Prince Philip passed away in April 2021, aged 99.Bibliophile have sent their condolences to Her Majesty The Queen in a handwritten letter from Annie - one recent widow to another.
The Royal Warrant of Appointment signifies a satisfactory trading arrangement exists between the Grantor and the Grantee of a particular company. This special arrangement between the Monarchy and trade has existed since the Middle Ages, but it was on 25 May 1840 that the present association was created with the formation of the Royal Tradesmen’s Association. In 1907 the Association was incorporated by Royal Charter and changed its name to the Royal Warrant Holders Association. The original Charter was replaced by a Supplemental Charter in 2007.
Grantee Annie Quigley says: "My personal experience of the Duke of Edinburgh it is that he was playful and fun and was very interested in my enterprise and was very eclectic and widely read in his reading tastes. As his bookseller for over 30 years, I have often joked that I risked having my head cut off if I ever told anyone which books he selected! I have however learned from his staff that one of his many generous traits was to select books as gifts for official guests at Buckingham Palace and to have them left on their bedside cabinets - much more thoughtful than a chocolate left on the pillow.
HRH Prince Philip was an environmentalist before his time. I know that he graciously wrote the foreword to the seminal Doomsday Book of Animals by David Day 40 years ago when head of the World Wildlife Fund.
I was due to meet the Duke of Edinburgh again in June 2021 for his 100 birthday; he had accepted our invitation from the Windsor & Eton Royal Warrant Holders Association to plant a tree in the moat garden at Windsor Castle as his gift from us. We may well go ahead with the event, but of course very sadly without our illustrious Royal guest.
It was back in 2011 that I was made what friends dubbed me “Bookseller Royal.” At the National Association Annual Banquet, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh especially asked if he could meet his newest grantee at the reception and we launched into several minutes of excited conversation. (See picture above). I had been invited onto the top table for the splendid white tie occasion. HRH was dapper and gracious in full evening regalia, complete with sash, medals and decorations. I wore a vintage bright red Valentino gown and my new grantee medal. On being presented by the association President, my friend Bob Hall said, “Sir, let me introduce you to Annie Quigley of Bibliophile Books...” HRH Prince Philip playfully replied “I know who she is!” Certainly he did. We have been providing books to the palaces for 30 years and he had read my words ten times a year in the curated mail order book catalogues we publish. We shared a passion for reading and learning, and as all my customers say, that keeps you young, and your brain alert.
Annie Quigley was elected to the Council of the Windsor, Eton & District Royal Warrant Holders Association in 2013 and became Vice President 2015 then President in 2016.
Annie is now serving a three year term as Windsor Rep to the national Royal Warrant Holders Assocation on the Council.