Stationery Factlets #3: The Queen’s Ink

This factlet is quite different to the previous ones. One difference is that I was unable to corroborate this information from other sources, so there is a chance it is a factoid rather than a factlet. The other difference is that it is not well known, so it’s probably a ‘You read it first on Bleistift’ factlet.

I believe there are a few very popular TV series about Queen Elizabeth II at the moment, though I haven’t seen any of them. With renewed interest from these TV series his factlet might be of interest to a wider audience than it might have been a few years ago.

The fact that Queen Elizabeth II is using Parker pens is well known. I believe Parker was been issued a Royal Warrant of appointment as sole supplier of pens and inks more than 50 years ago.

A Parker Penman ink bottle. This one is Mocha.

Well, here’s the factlet about one of her favourite inks:

“There have been a number of different Parker Penman ink colours produced over the years including the most beautiful shade of tangerine [1]I am not sure whether this is the ‘Ruby’ colour. I didn’t come across many Penman inks. Ruby is the closest one to Tangerine I know of. which is supposed to have been a favourite of the Queen and used by her on personal correspondence. The story goes that when the colour was withdrawn the palace planned to remove the Royal Warrant only restoring it when they agreed to continue producing the colour especially for the Queens private use.”

Someone I don’t have a reason to distrust has confirmed to me that in his company’s archive they have a private letter from the Queen, written in Penman’s tangerine coloured ink.

The Penman inks were discontinued more than fifteen years ago. They had a high saturation so were popular with many users, but this high saturation also meant they would clog your pen up if left alone for too long.


1 I am not sure whether this is the ‘Ruby’ colour. I didn’t come across many Penman inks. Ruby is the closest one to Tangerine I know of.

3 thoughts on “Stationery Factlets #3: The Queen’s Ink”

  1. Thank you for your comments.

    Amro, do you remember where you heard this?

    Sola, I have seen some great photos of this bottle, mine is not so good, though. Oh, leaking ink bottles are not good. Luckily I didn’t have problems so far.

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