ROYAL portable typewriters
At left, a 1927 example of the very first model produced by Royal.  This was a well engineered product from the start, and unlike other makers, Royal never dabbled with three-bank machines which were less expensive to make and sell.  High quality from the outset ensured that the Royal portables would be held in high esteem for many years.
Here's the next body style variation, seen on my 1933 woodgrain finish machine.  Note the "turrets" which cover the ribbon spools; they're exposed on the early design.  The machine still retains a similar line above the keyboard.
Here's one of a number of 1930's Royal machines.  Most look just like this; flat finished but glossy black paint.  Yes, they've become plain looking, but are still great to use.
The design of the machine above (made 1933) carried on, essentially, to the immediate pre-war era, when the machines were instead given a crinkle finish.
As did other makers, Royal produced specially designed machines during the Great Depression.  This Royal Signet is one of two models; the Senior Signet actually could type in upper and lower case, unlike the machine seen here.
Early in the 1950's, Royal redesigned their machines for the second time postwar.  They already included basket shift by this time, but the styling was made even more modern -- and more in line with that offered by other makers.  This Royal Quiet De Luxe is one such machine.
In 1953, a machine called the Diana was produced in Mannheim, Germany; by the mid-1950's, Royal had moved its production to the former Halberg works in the Netherlands.  At left is a Royal Diana from the latter location.
Royal had bought out Halberg Machinefabriek to obtain the design of that company's Traveler, which was put into production as the Royal Royalite.  This all-green Royalite is a very early example.  Later machines were tan, or else black and gold.
In the early 1960's, Royal applied newer styling to its two portables being made by Royal-McBee Nederlands N.V.  At right, the Royal Arrow is typical of the small machines when restyled.  The older styling carried on in parallel for a short time.  The production of these machines ended in about 1966. 
Production of the Diana ended in the early 1960's; the model replacing it was mechanically the same, but restyled.  This is the Royal Century.  Production did not last very long.  Click here to see a rare relative of the Diana / Century.
Royal Royalite 64 showing the newer paint decor.
The Royal Parade is very similar, but adds a tab key and tab set / clear lever.  The tab key is on the right side of the second row of keys from the top; the tab stop lever is on the left side of the keyboard.  These also are contained in true cases, not vinyl attache cases like that used for the Arrow.  Also note the two-tone scheme on the Arrow, and the single color on the Parade.
One reason that production in the Netherlands was curtailed and then dropped was that, in 1965, Litton Industries (who now owned Royal-McBee) began importing Japanese-made typewriters.  These were made by Silver-Seiko Ltd.  At left is the simplest variant, with 42 keys and no tabulator, ribbon selector or touch control; it's a Royal Jet.
At the other end for the Silver-Seiko manufactured machines is this Royal Mercury.  It has 44 keys, two color ribbon selector with stencil cutout, touch control and fixed tabulator.  These have all-metal body construction.
Getting back to the domestically manufactured machines, we see here the 1958 restyle for the Royal US-built portables.  This is a Royal Futura 800.  These are interesting because of one novel feature; the Royal emblem on the front is actually a button; pressing it causes the top cover to flip up under spring pressure.  Don't ever try to lift the cover by hand on one of these; use the button!  The older body style did continue in parallel production for several years, until it was replaced by the style seen below.
Here is the typical "1960's" body used on Royal machines; this one happens to be a Royal Futura.  Several different models were offered in this body; usually, at any one time, two were available, differing in the number of 'bells and whistles' fitted.  The less-expensive versions are actually harder to find today.
In the early 1970's, Litton began distributing a second variant of the Silver-Seiko machines, which was the same, mechanically, but housed in a larger plastic body, which sometimes includes a lid containing a transistor radio!  One such machine is the Royal Sprite, seen here.  This line was available through the first few years of the 1970's, when it was dropped in favor of the machines built in Portugal, seen next.
Messa, of Portugal, had bought the ABC in 1967, and further refined the design.  In the 70's, Litton began selling this machine as the Royal Safari.
By the mid-1970's, all of the tooling for the larger Royal machine had been shipped from the US to Portugal as well, and placed back in production there for Litton to distribute, taking advantage of the lower labor costs.  This Royal Sabre is one such machine.
Some people already know that the "Safari" model name remained popular with Royal, and its owners Litton, Volkswagen and Olivetti for many years.  Here are some later machines.  Top left, Royal Safari II, made by Nakajima in Japan during the ownership of Royal by Volkswagen.  Also likely from this period are the other two -- top right, the Royal Safari III, made in Korea by K-Mek Incorporated, and bottom right, the Royal Safari IV, made in Bulgaria by Typewriters Works, Plovdiv and sold to Royal through a deal with Bulgarian export control bureau Isotimpex.  What is most interesting is that the Safari IV is mechanically the same as the Silver-Seiko machines; the design had arrived in Bulgaria by way of K-Mek, it would seem.  The Safari III is mechanically like the large Silver-Reed 500, which was made by Silver-Seiko after its deal with Litton expired in the 1970's.
Eventually, the ownership and operation of Royal, Adler and Triumph (the latter two already joined) was fully combined, and machines of any actual design heritage from the group could be found with any other brand name -- and even Imperial, too, as this organization was also included.  This 1970's Royal Sahara was made in Holland, in the former Royal (Halberg) plant, to a design modified from that of the old Tippa.  Grundig, owners of Adler and Triumph, had bought and merged P. Gossen, maker of the Tippa, back in 1958, and much later modified the design to incorporate basket shift and other peripheral features. 
Here ends our examination of various ROYAL portables through the years.  Believe it or not, there are machines you can find which are NOT pictured here!  However, the vast majority of mechanical designs are covered here, and this is the only place you'll find the whole timeline of Royal portables covered in this way.  Look to the pages about various machines on my Portable Typewriter Reference Site to discover historical and mechanical details about the foreign-made variants you see here -- look for them either by country of origin, or else by manufacturer.
The "last hurrah" for the old Halberg-based Royalite design is shown here, in this Royal Quiet de Luxe.  This is a very re-engineered machine, and was not built for very long at all.  The Japanese-made machines were likely less expensive to build, and the Portuguese-made machines eventually proved more profitable still.
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