This could be a fun plot point for a future episode of “The Crown.”
Rigby & Peller, the luxury underwear firm that has supplied lingerie to Queen Elizabeth and other female royals since 1960, is no longer providing those services, including personalized bra fittings. The company was effectively fired after its one-time owner and official “corsetiere” to the Queen, published a memoir that Buckingham Palace didn’t like.
June Kenton, 82, told the BBC that her autobiography described her making royal visits and working with the Queen and the late Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on making sure they were wearing correctly fitting underthings.
Carrying the cheeky, bra-humor title, “Storm in a D Cup,” the book didn’t dish any kind of dirt, Kenton insists. For example, she didn’t disclose any secrets about the royal ladies’ personal lingerie choices or their demeanor during these rather intimate fittings.
“I’m very sad Buckingham Palace took exception to the story — it’s a kind and gentle story about what went on in my life,” Kenton said.
“I only ever said I went there, not what happened,” she added. “I have never, ever spoken about what I do there with her, or the Queen Mother or Princess Margaret.”
— June Kenton (@june_kenton) March 30, 2017
Kenton began working for the Queen in the early 1980s as her “corsetiere” when she and her husband bought Rigby & Peller for around $27,000 pounds. They sold a majority stake in the company in 2011 for roughly $10.9 million pounds, but Kenton remains on the board.
In official parlance, Rigby & Peller lost its royal warrant. Tradespeople and companies receive royal warrants when the supply goods or services to the monarchy. A warrant allows them to display the relevant Royal Arms in connection to their businesses.
Kenton published her book in March 2017, then learned about six months ago that her services were no longer needed.
“I’ve been honourable throughout my life,” she said. “It’s unbelievable they don’t like the book, there’s nothing in it that they could remotely be upset about. … It’s a sweet story of a corsetiere.”
“I think it’s unbelievable,” she added. “It’s just upsetting at the end of my life, but what can I do? I can’t fight with Buckingham Palace and I wouldn’t want to, but it’s hard.”
Kenton got a shout-out from her daughter for her standing up on this issue:
Through the media storm today….phones ringing off the hook and film crews and photographers at our door……GREAT ARTICLE MUM! And everything is there for all to see……honest, loyal and head held high….#rigbyandpeller https://t.co/PgclxXAMsk
— Jill Kenton (@JillKenton) January 11, 2018
But Kenton is not alone in her company losing a royal warrant, which are granted by the Queen, Prince Philip or Prince Charles. According to the BBC, about 20 to 40 of the some 800 warrants currently issued are canceled each year.
According to the Guardian, the posh department store Harrods, for example, lost its royal warrant from Prince Philip in 2000 after “the significant decline in the trading relationship between the [duke’s] household and Harrods over several years.”
That “decline in the trading relationship” could be due to the fact that Harrods’ owner Mohamed Al Fayed infamously alleged that the Duke of Edinburgh and MI5 were responsible for the 1997 death of Fayed’s son, Dodi, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
New royal scandal? Queen Elizabeth fires bra fitter after she publishes memoir