Royal Warrants in EU Law

Posted: 16 Feb 2021 Last revised: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Marie-Louise Holle

Marie-Louise Holle

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law

Grith Skovgaard Ølykke

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law

Date Written: February 16, 2021


This paper explores the tradition of awarding of royal warrants in monarchies in the EU. In order to determine the legality of awarding royal warrants, EU State aid law and national public law are analysed. The analysis shows that legal analysis of royal warrants rests on the public/private divide. It is analysed how national legal conceptualisation of the monarch fits in the EU State concept, encompassing all entities which may reasonably be said to act on behalf or under influence of the State. No hard conclusion can be drawn, but it is found that the monarch’s resources are State resources and that the awarding of royal warrants can be considered as imputable to the State. Further, royal warrants confer an economic advantage on beneficiaries, and the monarch does not (formally) receive any (market-like) remuneration. Thus, the award of a royal warrant grants State aid to the benefitting undertaking.

Keywords: EU law, State aid, Royal warrants, Monarch resources

JEL Classification: K20, K21, H20

Suggested Citation

Holle, Marie-Louise and Ølykke, Grith Skovgaard, Royal Warrants in EU Law (February 16, 2021). Copenhagen Business School, CBS LAW Research Paper No. 21-02, Available at SSRN:

Marie-Louise Holle (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law ( email )

Porcelaenshave 18B, 1
Frederiksberg 2000

Grith Skovgaard Ølykke

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3, C5
Copenhagen, Frederiksberg 2000

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