Victoria Day is auspicious for several reasons. First launched in 1845 in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, this singularly Canadian holiday now serves as the official birthday celebration for the current Queen of Canada. It also marks the unofficial end of winter—frost-free gardens and white linen jackets are yours for the next few blissful months, if only between you and four socially distanced friends.
And whether you’re an avowed monarchist or you’ve got Braveheart on a loop, it hardly matters: we can all agree that Canada’s official head of state has been practising her COVID-19 A-game with her recent rousing “We Will Meet Again” speech. This was hard proof that, despite Queen Elizabeth’s advanced age, her 68 years on the throne has uniquely positioned her to speak authoritatively about simply hanging in there during tough times.
Consequently, this weekend we plan to make like Lilibet and celebrate her immeasurable fortitude—as well as a few of the things she cherishes. The Royal Warrant, the official seal given to any British goods and services that supply the royal household, extends to a few items we can nab this side of the pond.
God willing the weekend is 28°C and sunny, but if Queen Victoria taught us anything, it’s that it always pays to be prepared. So should we get dark skies and rain, it’s a stiff upper lip and a stiff drink.
There are dozens of iterations of Islay’s most famous whisky out there (Laphroaig’s $2,200 Ian Hunter series is particularly bracing), but it’s hard to beat the classic that made this distillery—it’s a peaty wee beast that single-handedly popularized the idea that the taste of iodine might be a positive for anything but iodine. The Prince of Wales agrees—he granted the company its Royal Warrant in 1994 upon a visit in person (where he is fondly referred to by his Scottish title as the Duke of Rothesay).
There are few things fundamentally more English than the iconic Burberry plaid trench coat (we’ll throw crumpets and jumpers in there, too). Her Majesty the Queen apparently agrees as she granted the luxury fashion house Royal Warrant status in 1955.
This spring, Burberry launched the ReBurberry Edit, an ongoing sustainability initiative featuring 26 pieces from the spring/summer 2020 collection (from capes to eyewear) that are all crafted from sustainable materials such as natural fibres, scraps, industrial plastics, and other recycled fabrics, including recycled polyester and nylon.
The Queen is said to be a huge fan of French beauty brand Clarins’ classic Hand and Nail Treatment cream—she granted the company Royal Warrant status in 2007. Her youthful vigor can further be maintained with the new Clarins sun-care line that launches June 1.
This collection of sunscreen and after-care lotion includes a proprietary plant-based complex featuring baobab, aloe vera, and pea, which helps protect against the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays as well as free radicals.
Maldon Sea Salt
Is there any better indulgence than the ne plus ultra of sodium? The new Aston Martin DBS (which also holds a Royal Warrant) will set you back $340,000, but a beautiful box of Maldon is a mere $11 on Spud.ca (and they’ll deliver it right to your door).
And while learning to manoeuvre the Aston in pursuit of bad guys on a windy mountain road takes some practice, using flake salt is a snap. Toss a strip loin on the grill, throw on a pinch, and voilà. Ditto a just-dressed salad.
British heritage brand Hunter is best known for its HRH Duke of Edinburgh–approved wellies made from 100 per cent rubber. But this spring, the company launches a lightweight shell jacket made from 100 per cent recycled polyester from second-use plastic bottles.
Available in four colours, these packable pullover jackets may hark back to the ’80s K-Way with their front kangaroo pocket, but they strike just the right modern note with their carbon-free rain repellent finish.
From Oral-B to Pampers, some five billion people use Royal Warrant–approved Proctor & Gamble products. Alas, the royal family must also wash their hair like us plebians. P&G’s Herbal Essences Sulfate-Free Potent Aloe collections all offer hand-picked, sustainably sourced aloe vera paired with hemp, mango, bamboo, or eucalyptus to each target a specific hair type or concern.
In partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the new line brings 260 years of scientific plant expertise to the table—the first global hair-care brand to have real botanicals endorsed by the esteemed Kew. To boot, all bio-renew botanical shampoo and conditioner bottles are now etched with raised marks for the vision impaired (or those of us who are needing reading glasses of late).
Read more from our Wishlist section here.