The Crown is undoubtedly one of Netflix’s most successful series to date. With season 4 having been released we get to re-live many British Royal Family events that, for many of us, are within the timespan of personal living memories. Following a rather stressful year (Brexit, the pandemic) the Cognac Expert team thought it was time for something more lighthearted. So we decided to pair these British high-rollers with a Cognac we felt really depicted their character.
So if you’re a fan of The Crown and would like to indulge in a Cognac that your favorite characters might enjoy, the following is just for you.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Matriarch extraordinaire, The Queen, has been bestowed many affectionate nicknames by the Brits. While she should, officially, be referred to as Your Majesty, you’ll often hear her subjects using many other monikers. Queenie and Her Maj are probably two of the most common. Even her official London residence, Buckingham Palace, isn’t protected from such treatment. It’s often referred to as Buck House.
But what Cognac would dear old Liz enjoy? We think it has to be the rather distinguished Baron Otard Collection du Roi. It’s of hors d’age quality (naturally), and created from two very special ancestral expressions of eau-de-vie that were stored in the house’s own Royal castle, known as the Château de Cognac. Even the presentation decanter is regal. Made from heavy crystal and topped with a crown stopper, one can easily imagine it taking pride of place within the palace’s liquor collection, much as Ma’am does within her own family.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Famous for his many public faux-pas throughout his life, Prince Philip is the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family—currently rocking the stately age of 99. While some of his gaffes over the years have been, undoubtedly, cringe-worthy, his quotes have become almost as famous as the man himself. His insults know no bounds and he’s happily put his foot in it with people around the globe. From Madonna to Tom Jones, Nigerian Royalty to members of his own family, no-one is immune from a tongue lashing from ‘Phil the Greek’. This even includes Queen Elizabeth herself. He once shouted at her, “Yak yak yak; Come on. Get a move on” as she was talking to her hosts on an official engagement.
So what Cognac could possibly represent this grand, yet irreverent, member of the Royal Family? Well it has to be the rather special Hine Triomphe, a blend of 50 exceptionally well-matured Cognacs from Grande Champagne. The many industry awards bestowed on this exceptional blend mirror the multiple titles, honors, and medals of the man himself. The sleek, masculine lines of the decanter are a great representation of this military gentleman.
Indeed, the history of the Cognac house is traced back to Englishman Thomas Hine’s 1791 arrival in France, imprisonment in the Château de Jarnac, and subsequent marriage to the daughter of his ‘hosts’, Françoise-Elisabeth. The happy union firmly instilled an English influence into a French classic, much as Philip’s marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 brought an international flavor to the British Royal family.
Charles, Prince of Wales
His Royal Highness, Charles, is the next in line to the throne—although there are many who predict he will never be king. At 72 years old, and with the Queen still in fine fettle, perhaps this might be the case. Only time will tell.
The Crown has been noted for being factually incorrect in many areas. Indeed, the Charles and Di story has been retold from many angles and us mere mortals will probably never be privy to the cold hard truth. But whatever your personal thoughts, it can’t be denied that this senior royal has had his fair share of tough moments throughout his life.
So what Cognac have we chosen for Charlie-boy? Well, a VIP by nature can only be represented by a Cognac that’s VIP by name. So we chose the rather delicious Frapin XO VIP, a rich, smooth, Grande Champagne blend that’s been decorated with a plethora of industry awards. Gorgeous sipped neat, Frapin has also created a cocktail specifically designed to well-represent the Cognac. It’s entitled the Cocktail VIP One and is made using the following ingredients:
A generous shot of Frapin XO VIP
1.5 fl oz. St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
0.5 fl oz. Orange Curaçao
1 fl oz. Water (through dilution from stirring the ice)
0.75 fl oz. 2 dashes of chocolate bitter
Place all the ingredients in a large mixing glass with plenty of ice. Stir for a minute, strain into a martini glass, and voila! Enjoy.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Is Wills the most loved member of the Royal Family today? He’d certainly be a strong contender. His marriage to Kate and the subsequent birth of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis brings a modern-day fairy tale to reality. The big question is, will Charles step aside and let William take the top spot as King of England when the moment happens? A small minority of those in the know think it’s a possibility (if you believe the media).
However, at only 38 years of age, he has plenty of time ahead to take up the position of monarch and bear the Crown of England. So our burning question was this. What Cognac would William enjoy? Because it absolutely has to be one that complements the personality of one of the world’s adored princes?
After much contemplation, we settled on the rather lovely Delamain XO Pale & Dry. This new generation of Cognac is the perfect representation of the reinvention of the Royals, something in which William and his brother Harry have both played a pivotal role. The creation of Pale & Dry has taken the most traditional values of Cognac and combined them with contemporary innovation to bring us an eau-de-vie that’s perfect for the 21st century. The similarities of this and how William’s shaken off the dusty image of the monarchy to connect with his own generation make this the perfect Cognac to sip in his honor.
Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Be honest… What little girl, teenager, or twenty-something didn’t feel the teeniest twinge of jealousy when the beautiful Kate Middleton married her prince to become the Duchess of Cambridge? But then, we all had to forgive her because, not only is she the most beautiful princess, but she also comes across as such a genuine and kind person.
Three children later, Kate still sports a perfect figure and looks as wonderful as ever. So to choose a Cognac that would befit this future Queen of England certainly took deep consideration. We eventually settled on the rather special Leopold Gourmel Brut de Fleurs. This Cognac house, if you’re not familiar with it, is passionate about producing eau-de-vie that’s sustainable and protective of the land and nature. This mirrors Kate’s values as, amongst other admirable efforts, she uses her massive global influence to show her commitment to sustainability through her choice of clothing and fashion brands.
Harry, Duke of Sussex
Oooh. Now we’re moving into controversial territory (although perhaps not quite as controversial as the above-mentioned Brexit, but that’s another conversation entirely). William’s younger brother, the hard drinking, partying young Prince Harry is one who continually manages to keep his name firmly in the headlines. First he married Meghan Markle, then there was the alleged rift between him and Wills, and now he’s renounced his title and they’ve relocated to Montecito, California, USA.
And for his latest headline-grabbing news, there’s the little matter of a Netflix deal worth a cool $100 million US dollars. Not too shabby, we think you’ll agree.
Of course, Harry’s Cognac had to be something a little out of the ordinary and as individual as the prince himself. For us this made the Godet Single Grape Montils Rare the perfect contender. Distinctly individual, this blended eau-de-vie brings the taste of a single and almost forgotten grape variety to the fore—that of Montils. The house of Godet also has a unique location in La Rochelle. Here, close to the ocean, the salty humid environment has a big influence on the Cognac as it ages. If you’re interested in a completely unique taste experience then this wonderful Cognac is one you really need to try.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan is certainly no stranger to controversy—she’s certainly shaken the Royal family (or The Firm, as they’re also known) with the so-named Megxit dominating the airwaves over the last year. But hey. At least her and Hazza have given us something else to talk about other than the pandemic. Her brief flirtation with life as a senior royal soon saw her and hubby hand back their HRH titles and settle for a commoner’s lifestyle (ha ha) in the already mentioned Montecito, Santa Barbara, CA.
The Suits actress has certainly carved out her own successful career. Then she married her prince as 1.9 billion people around the world tuned in to watch. She’s since given birth to the delightful Archie and made most women in the world groan with envy as she regained her petite pre-baby figure in record time. Much as she’s been knocked by the mainstream media, no-one can take away her successes and the fact that every time we see her she looks absolutely fantastic. So, of course, we had to select a distinctly feminine Cognac with a truly independent personality.
The Cognac Expert team unanimously agreed on the Fanny Fougerat Iris Poivré XO. Created by the entrepreneurial cellar master of the same name, this floral offering from the Borderies terroir is a great representation of the actress who gave the Royals a run for their money.
So there you have it. Our list of Cognacs that would be enjoyed by some of the key members of the British Royal family. So why not pour yourself a glass and settle back for an immersive binge session of The Crown. Sure, there might be a little (or a lot?) of artistic interpretation in there, but that’s half the fun. Whatever you think about the Royals, it certainly makes for great viewing.
Now, if you don’t mind. It’s time for us to pour a generous measure and settle down to finish series 4.