The Queen's Latest Photo Includes A Hidden Nod To Her Love Of Chocolate

There is plenty of speculation about what members of the British royal family in general and Queen Elizabeth II, in particular, like and don't like. But one thing we can say with confidence (because it has been corroborated by a chef) is that the queen is a big chocophile. According to Hello!, former Buckingham Palace chef Darren McGrady once said on social media, "Wondering what fancy chocolates to buy? Here are The Queen's fav[o]rites!" The chef shared an image of Charbonnel et Walker's Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles. These are described on the package as "lightly dusted pink truffles with a milk chocolate butter and Marc de Champagne cent[er]."

But a recent image of the queen with the departing Defence Services Secretary Rear Admiral James Macleod and his successor, Major General Eldon Millar, revealed more than just a box of Charbonnel et Walker chocolate; it also showed a box of Bendicks Chocolate Mint Collection as well as a Milk and Dark Chocolate Selection Box from Fortnum and Mason. Woman and Home, which identified the sweets on display, noted that the Bendicks cost about $6.80 and the Fortnum and Mason Selection, about $37.65. The box of Charbonnel et Walker, which sits further away, could well cost $21.80 if they are Dark Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Truffles.

All of the chocolates have a Royal Warrant

One might point out that there are differences between the three chocolates mentioned, starting with their price points. Bendicks is hardly a luxury brand and sits further down the scale in terms of cost from Charbonnel et Walker, which began after the queen's great grandfather, King Edward VII, convinced Parisian chocolatier Madame Charbonnel to leave her home to set up shop in England instead, per The Independent

But the three brands are similar because they not only fight for the queen's attention but are all holders of what's known as the Royal Warrant (via Woman and Home). That warrant, which acknowledges that the products are used by the royal household, could be considered what Robb Report calls "an early example of consumer-facing marketing." It is only given to businesses that have been selling products and "non-professional services" for a minimum of five of the last seven years. The Royal Warrant Association says each warrant is good for up to five years.

Paul Alger, International Business Director of the UK Fashion Textile Association or UKFT calls the Royal Warrant "the quintessential quality mark or stamp of approval. It's not like any other standard mark where you can fill in the forms and if you meet the criteria or pay the money, you're in. These are built up over tens of years." The practice of handing out warrants, which began during the 15th century, continues to this day, making it the ultimate form of influencer marketing.