Remembering The Queen: Her Majesty’s Contribution to Modern Trade

Remembering the Queen (UK) Crown on black and white background with a teal overlay.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday 8th September 2022. During her 70-year reign, Her Majesty the Queen was integral in maintaining and improving international relations, which greatly contributed to some of the trade partnerships and allegiances that have shaped our trading landscape globally.  

Join us as we reflect on Her Majesty the Queen’s contribution to international trade, and share our respects:

The Commonwealth 

The Commonwealth is an international organisation, designed to bring together regions and nations so that cooperation and peace can be enjoyed by people all over the world. The current membership represents over one-third of the world’s population. 

Although the majority of the 56 Commonwealth members are former members of the British Empire, only five countries were part of the founding in 1931. When Her Majesty the Queen took over as the head of the Commonwealth in 1952, there were only seven member countries. 

During Her Majesty the Queen’s reign, she maintained and developed the Commonwealth, frequently visiting member countries and striving to look forwards as a partnership of nations, instead of as the former British Empire. 

This was reflected in her 1953 Christmas Day broadcast, where she said: 

"The Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past. It is an entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace." 

Since Brexit, the UK has been able to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries, and the Commonwealth has been a key part of that. 

According to parliament statistics

“The value of UK exports to the Commonwealth increased by 7.1% in cash terms between 2020 and 2021, while the value of imports increased by 20.8%. The Commonwealth accounted for 9.4% of the UK's total trade – 9.8% of UK exports and 9.1% of UK imports.” 

The Queen and the European Union 

 The European Union was formed over time as previous treaties and organisations gained confidence in progression, starting with the post-war Council of Europe in 1949 and ending with the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, which formed the modern-day European Union and the single market. 

Since her ascension to the throne, The Queen was part of the Council of Europe and played a part in growing relationships across the continent. 

European Council President Charles Michel stated in a letter to King Charles III that: 

“For us in the European Union, her reign covered almost the full arc of post-war European integration. We will always remember her contribution to reconciliation among our nations after World War II and the Cold War. She had experienced the devastation of World War II and knew the importance of trust and cooperation among our countries. 

We will do our part to carry on her legacy. Her special legacy of building bridges and of building trust among nations.” 

International relations are key to the EU’s single market, and the Queen’s part in developing peace between the nations will continue to benefit businesses across Europe and beyond. 

The Royal Warrant and prestige by association 

As the face of Britain, Her Majesty the Queen was an internationally recognised figure. With the growth of television and the internet, her visibility grew, along with any products that she was seen to own or use. Clothing brands such as James Lock, Cornelia James, and Ettinger have all benefitted from Her Majesty wearing them. 

The Royal Warrant, an official seal of approval from the monarchy, has been in use since the 15th century. It can be granted to an individual, a company, or a specific product, and increases marketability. 

In surveys conducted by Warwick Business School, it was found that 57% of Chinese shoppers found the Royal Warrant important when determining the desirability of British lifestyle brands, and 27% said that they got their fashion and home inspiration from The Queen and the rest of the royal family. 

The same study found that royal endorsement is particularly advantageous for companies exporting to China, the rest of Asia, the Middle East and the US.  

Her Majesty the Queen granted over 650 Royal Warrants, including notable British brands like Bentley Motors and John Lewis.  

The Royal Warrant Holders Association commented on The Queen’s passing, saying: “Her Majesty’s commitment to businesses and especially her 650 Royal Warrant-holding companies and their employees was of immense and lasting significance, and in turn, was truly valued by so many.” 

The Queen’s funeral 

The Queen’s funeral will be held on Monday 19th September, when the UK will come together to celebrate the impact she had on our lives. Her Majesty leaves an impression beyond that which we can acknowledge, travelling throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa, Asia, America, and Australasia. She will be missed around the globe. Sign the Book of Condolences +

As a mark of respect, the UK Offices will be recognising this day as a Bank Holiday. Contact your local team should you need further clarification, as always we are dedicated to your customs services, and appreciate your understanding during this time.