Sunday, February 7, 1999 Published at 19:23 GMT
Royal warrant stubbed out
Gallaher has a year to withdraw the crest
The royal endorsement of the tobacco company Gallaher - makers of Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut cigarettes - is to be withdrawn.
The Prince of Wales, a fervent anti-smoker, was reportedly instrumental in the withdrawal, which has been welcomed by anti-smoking groups.
Director of pressure group Ash, Clive Bates, said the move was one more step in the right direction.
'Addictive and lethal product'
"No one thing is going to reverse the tide of smoking. It is just a logo, but it is not any old logo. It's probably the ultimate logo.
"It's always been obscene that they have been able to conceal what they are really selling, which is an addictive and lethal product behind this guise of respectability conferred by the royal crest."
The Queen's father, grandfather and great-grandfather all died of smoking-related illnesses.
The Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, is a smoker but it is not known whether the Queen herself ever smoked.
Royal warrants are granted to suppliers of goods and services to the Sovereign and indicates a relationship between the Crown and individual companies or tradesman.
Royal warrants are granted only by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother and the Prince of Wales.
To become eligible for the status of royal tradesman a company must be able to show that it has supplied a substantial amount of goods or services to the Royal Household for a period of not less than three consecutive years.
Royal warrants are now issued for five years and are then subject to review.