This Princess-Approved Shoe Brand Is Awarded Royal Warrant

Rayne Shoes has been awarded a Royal Warrant — a mark of recognition that acknowledges a brand as shoe manufacturer to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Nick Rayne, a descendent of the label’s founders, is thrilled. “I am both honored and delighted that Rayne shoes has been awarded the Royal Warrant,” he said. “My great-grandparents founded the company in 1885 in London, and I feel incredibly proud to maintain this tradition and heritage.”

The label has previously held Royal Warrants for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and Her Majesty Queen Mary, who issued the company with the first of three Royal Warrants in 1936.

Vivien Leigh in Rayne.
Vivien Leigh in Rayne.
CREDIT: Rayne

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton might soon take note. Rayne would be an especially pertinent label for former actress Markle. It was also the brand of choice for Hollywood royalty including Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich and Brigitte Bardot. Rayne even made a pair of sandals for Vivien Leigh, who wore them in the movie “Anthony and Cleopatra.”

Originally launched as a theatrical shoe brand, Rayne in the 1920s was adopted by Britain’s high society. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ordered her 1947 wedding and 1953 coronation shoes from the company.

An advertisement for Norman Hartnell featuring Rayne.
An advertisement for Norman Hartnell featuring Rayne.
CREDIT: Rayne

Beginning in the 1950s, the shoes were designed to complement outfits by Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, and Rayne also collaborated with Mary Quant, Christian Dior and Bruce Oldfield.

Shoes by Rayne are currently featured in both the Dior exhibition in London and will also take pride of place at the forthcoming Mary Quant exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The latter also houses an extensive archive of Rayne shoes, as do the Royal Collections at Buckingham and Kensington Palaces.

Vintage Rayne.
Vintage Rayne pumps.
CREDIT: Rayne

Last year, the revered royal cobbler staged an exhibition at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, England. “Rayne: Shoes for Stars” featured styles worn by movie stars including Taylor, Dietrich and Bardot.

The exhibition displayed shoes from the 1920s to the present day and told the story of how Rayne developed its business from supplying the Victorian theater trade to becoming the favored shoemaker for royalty.

A pair of vintage Rayne shoes with the original box.
A pair of vintage Rayne shoes with the original box.
CREDIT: Rayne

Watch FN’s video on Stuart Weitzman’s iconic shoe designs. 

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