0427/Stripped of royal title

Queen’s bra-fitter Rigby & Peller is stripped of royal title

June Kenton in Rigby & PellerThe Queen’s lingerie supplier, Rigby & Peller, has been stripped of  its royal warrant after the company’s former owner wrote a tell-all book about palace fittings. The upmarket lingerie firm held the warrant for 57 years, but lost its royal approval after June Kenton wrote a memoir about her work. The 82-year-old is known for transforming the brand into a world-leading retailer and her autobiography, Storm in D-Cup, goes into detail about fittings with the Queen, Princess Diana and Princess Margaret. Since the incident, Mrs Kenton explained that it was never her intention to upset anyone. She said: “It is very sad for me that they didn’t like it and I’m finding that very difficult to accept. It’s horrible and a real shock. “I never ever thought when I was writing the book that it would upset anyone. I’ve had the royal warrant for so long I never imagined that this would happen.” Mrs Kenton received a letter from the Lord Chamberlain last year stating that Rigby & Peller was to lose its royal warrant as a result of the autobiography. In the book Mrs Kenton wrote about fitting the Queen, explaining that she was half-dressed and that her corgis were often present. She also wrote about Princess Diana, saying she would accept posters showing models in lingerie and swimwear to give to princes William and Harry to display in their Eton studies. Mrs Kenton bought Rigby & Peller with her husband in 1982, paying £20,000, but sold her stake for £8million 29 years later to Van de Velde. She did however stay on the firm’s board and continued to fit the Queen’s bras at Buckingham Rigby & Peller have a number of stores across LondonPalace. “I have never discussed anything of a personal nature with any of my clients, and I never would. The book doesn’t contain anything naughty,” she said. “But it’s a fact I have done work for the Queen, there would be a gaping hole in my autobiography if I didn’t mention it. “I’m coming towards the end of my life, I’m 82, so it is what is it, there is nothing I can do.” Russell Tanguay, director of warrants at the Royal Warrant Holders Association, confirmed yesterday that the Knightsbridge-based retailer had lost its warrant. Mr Tanguay said companies are granted a window in which to remove the royal coat of arms, which is earned when a firm has supplied the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, or Prince Charles for five out of the last seven years. Rigby & Peller must now remove the royal coat of arms from any promotional material and shop signs. Mrs Kenton added that she had no regrets about writing the book, but had only wished to write down her life story as it was something she was extremely proud of. She added: “It is a personal tale and there is nothing in it which is upsetting, it’s a gentle book. “I can’t even begin to explain, I didn’t do it with the intention of upsetting anyone. I’m proud of my life and what I’ve achieved and I simply wanted to share that.”The luxury lingerie firm was founded in 1939 by Gita Peller and Bertha Rigby, before being sold to Mrs Kenton and her husband. Mrs Kenton’s first fitting for the Queen was at Buckingham Palace that same year. The supplier now has seven shops – including its website – and its flagship store is in Knightsbridge, West London. The cost of a brassiere from Rigby & Peller’s ranges in price from £50 to £200 and has a whole host of famous clients, including Kim Kardashian, Margaret Thatcher, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joan Collins. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: “In respect of Royal Warrants, we never comment on individual companies.”

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