WHEN it comes to having a signature style, few individuals are more iconic than the Queen with her trusty handbag.
And it turns out the royal family, including Kate Middleton, carry handbags or clutch bags for a reason – with Her Majesty sending secret signals with hers.
The Queen carries a bag even when she is inside her own home, Buckingham Palace.
Royal expert Phil Dampier told Fabulous Digital: “She carries it inside because it has things she needs like her reading glasses and fountain pen."There are long corridors in the palace so she likes to have it all there."And it also has another function – as the Queen uses it to send signals to her staff.
7 The Queen clutches her black Launer handbag – which avoids any awkwardness from people who may want to shake their hands Credit: Getty Images – Getty
The monarch places her famous handbag on a chair if she wishes to have a prolonged chat with a guest.
However, if she moves her bag to the floor, this would signal she wishes her staff to end the conversation promptly.
At dinner and lunches, if the bag is placed on the table it means she would like to end the event in five or so minutes.
A dangling bag in her left, crooked arm indicates she is comfortable and happy.
You may have noticed that Kate Middleton tends to opt for a clutch bag, while the Queen favours a small black Launer handbag – both of which can be clutched in two hands.
According to royal insiders, the reason Kate does this is to avoid awkward encounters with people who may try to shake her hand.
Beaumont Etiquette expert Myka Meier told Good Housekeeping: "When the Duchess is at an event, she holds her bag in front of her in both hands when shaking hands might be awkward.
"Or she can place it in one hand to have the other free. It
never gets tucked under an arm or placed on the ground or table."
In contrast, Meghan has been seen favouring a crossbody bag style, meaning she is free to shake hands with crowds and accept gifts.
Launer CEO Gerald Bodmer previously revealed to New Idea Magazine 2018: "(The Queen) doesn’t feel fully dressed without her handbag.
"But if the Queen doesn’t like what we’ve made her, she won’t wear it. She definitely knows what she wants."
The contents of the Queen’s handbag have been the source of endless speculation over the years.
Thankfully Phil, who is the author of What's In The Queen's Handbag: And Other Royal Secrets, cleared up the mystery.
He said: "She does not normally carry money, a cheque book, credit cards, car keys or a passport.
"But the first item she tends to pull out of the bag at meal times is an S-shaped meat hook."
This is not "to hang up a pheasant shot by Prince Philip" but to secure it to a table's edge.
THE QUEEN’S ICONIC HANDBAG
The Queen has been using the London-based Launer firm for her bags and they have had the official warrant for the past 40 years.
The bags are hand-made in a factory in Walsall and can range from £500 to £1,000 depending on the design.
They can be made from a range of skins, including soft calf, lizard, alligator or ostrich.
Each bag carries the brand's famous intertwined gold rope logo.
The Queen typically likes a high-quality leather version, usually in a dark shade.
The company released a range of "millenial-style" colours last year, from yellow to turquoise, and pink to violet.
Other fans of Launer handbags include Dame Judi Dench and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
The bag contains an array of good luck charms, including photos of her family, mints, crosswords from the papers, a fountain pen (she "frowns upon biros"), and a metal make-up case given to her by Prince Philip as a wedding gift.
Phil added: "Add in a mirror, diary and address book, sunglasses, reading glasses, and, like any good Girl Scout a penknife, and it is obvious why no ordinary size bag will do."
He advised that she probably carries around her iPhone in the bag too – which she mainly uses to take photos when in the countryside at Balmoral.
We shared how Kate Middleton has a £6 hack which lets her wear heels all day without them hurting her feet.
We previously revealed how Kate Middleton makes sure she never has bra and knicker lines on show by using shapewear and sewn-in bras.
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