Crown Royal Was Actually Invented For This Royal Couple

When you're drinking Crown Royal, whether you prefer sipping it straight up or mixed with a Coke or Dr. Pepper, you might be feeling just a bit fancy. After all, this Canadian whisky that comes in a fancy glass decanter, with its own velvet bag in a royal shade of purple trimmed with gold, seems to be no ordinary sipper. As it turns out, it's not, and there's a very good reason for the crown on its label, and for its very name — Crown Royal was created for an actual royal couple (via the Crown Royal website).

In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (mother to the current Queen Elizabeth, later referred to as the Queen Mother) of the United Kingdom embarked on a trip to Canada. Just eight years before, the 1931 Statute of Westminster gave recognition to Canada's autonomy (via the Government of Canada). Canada now had control over its own foreign policy, but it still had a monarch in common with the United Kingdom, making King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the King and Queen of Canada, and their visit the very first time reigning Canadian monarchs had ever stepped foot in the country, a big deal indeed (via The Canadian Encyclopedia).

Crown Royal was created to celebrate this historic visit

To commemorate the historic royal visit, Samuel Bronfman, then President of Seagram's, decided to craft a whisky fit for royalty as a special gift to the King and Queen (via Luxe Digital). According to the Crown Royal website, Bronfman would end up trying out more than 600 different blends before he came upon the right one, a special and "exceptionally smooth" blend of around 50 different whiskies. Only 100 cases were produced in the first year (via Ontario Museums), with 10 cases gifted to the royal couple and stocked on the train that took them around Canada.

It's not clear whether the King and Queen drank any of the 10 cases of Crown Royal. However, the Queen Mother was known to have enjoyed her alcohol (via People), so it's very possible that she at least sampled some of the special whisky blend. Crown Royal was introduced to the U.S. market in the 1960s, and today is the top selling Canadian whisky in the United States by a very large margin (via Statista). It's also the second best selling whisky brand overall by sales volume, just after Jack Daniels (via US Whiskey Report). Crown Royal fans should be thankful to the royal couple for its creation, and that you no longer need to be a royal to enjoy it. Cheers!