During her long reign on the British throne, Queen Elizabeth II has always fascinated the royals fans with her impeccable fashion sense and sometimes bold statements, but one particular item has always been at the monarch’s side through the years and even turned into her signature piece — the Lauren bag.
The creations of the luxurious brand were first introduced to the women of the royal family back in the 1950s when the Queen Mother bought one for herself.
Since then, a handbag from Lauren has been a constant addition to the outfit of Queen Elizabeth II, and the monarch reportedly loved the bags so much that nowadays, her personal collection spans over more than 200 pieces.
Even though a handbag is a typical accessory for most women, many were curious why the Queen always carries one, since as a monarch, she is not bothered with trivial things such as keys for her home or a wallet.
According to historian Sally Bedell Smith, the Queen used the purses mainly for her reading glasses, lipstick, a small mirror, and sometimes for a pair of gloves.
In addition, the monarch reportedly often carried a small hook, so she could hang her bags under the table instead of leaving them on the ground.
One of Her Majesty’s cousins, Jean Willis, previously said that she saw the Queen grab a suction cup from her purse for this purpose: “I watched the Queen open her handbag and remove a white suction cup and discretely spit into it. The Queen then attached the cup to the underside of the table. The cup had a hook on it, and she attached her handbag to it.”
However, it appears that the matriarch has found additional usage for her handbags, as she developed a secret code for her assistants.
Apparently, the Queen also used the purses to subtly indicate her intentions to her staff, such as signaling that she wants the ongoing conversation to end or when she prefers to leave.
Royal historian Hugo Vickers explained the process: “Luckily, they’d let you down easy. It would be done very nicely. Someone would come along and say, “Sir, the Archbishop of Canterbury would very much like to meet you.”
Queen Elizabeth is known for using symbols and gestures to communicate different sorts of things. She recently did this with Queen Mary’s fringe tiara for her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice‘s intimate wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and Prince Andrew scandal, the Queen reportedly tried to convey a message of strength and solidariy rooted in family traditions.