Royals

A royal biographer dishes on what the Queen carries in her handbag

Here are the must-have handbag items Her Majesty likes to always have handy.

After it was recently revealed how the Queen chooses her outfit every day, a new revelation has come to light, courtesy of royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith who has shared what are the must-haves the Queen always carries in her handbag.
Well it's well-known that the Queen has carried her signature Launer handbags for decades, what she chooses to carry inside has previously remained a secret – until now.
Sally, the author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind The Throne, said the 93-year-old can't go without her reading glasses, mint lozenges and a fountain pen, The Sun reports.
And according to Sally the Queen only carries cash on Sundays – said to be a "precisely folded" £5 or £10 note which is placed in the church donation box and according The Sun, there's even a rumour that one of her butlers irons the note into a little square!
Reading glasses, mint lozenges and lipstick are said to be must-haves in the Queen's handbag a royal biographer has claimed. (Image: Getty)
Sally also claims that the Queen is never without her lipstick (she's said to favour bright pink shades from Clarins and Elizabeth Arden) and a small mirror, so she can reapply it when she's on the go.
"At the end of a luncheon or a dinner, even a banquet set with a silver gilt and antique porcelain, she has the somewhat outre habit of opening her bag, pulling out a compact and reapplying her lipstick," Sally wrote.
"When First Lady Laura Bush made a similar cosmetic fix during a Washington ladies' luncheon, she cheerily commented, 'The Queen told me it was all right to do it.'"
The Queen is often seen touching up her lipstick - Clarins and Elizabeth Arden are said to be her favourites. (Image: Getty)
And according to royal expert Phil Dampier, she also has a habit of taking an array of good luck charms with her, which include family photos, crosswords from the papers and a metal makeup case gifted to her by Prince Philip as a wedding gift.
Phil adds, she probably carries her iPhone in the bag too – apparently she likes to take photos when in the countryside at her Scottish residence Balmoral, where she is currently spending her summer holidays.
And if you've ever wondered why on earth the Queen is seen carrying her handbag everywhere, including inside and even in her own house, the reason is incredibly practical.
"She carries it inside because it has things she needs like her reading glasses and fountain pen," Phil tells The Sun.
"There are long corridors in the palace so she likes to have it all there."
Well, it makes perfect sense!
It's not often you'll see Her Majesty without her trademark Launer handbag. (Image: Getty)
And while of course her handbag has all its practical features, as well as providing the perfect finishing touch to her outfit – she's said to not feel fully dressed without it – there's another very clever way the handbag is used: to send secret signals to her staff.
If the Queen places her handbag on a chair, this reportedly signals to her staff that she wishes to have an extended conversation with a guest.
If she places it on the floor, it tells the staff she wants to end the conversation quickly, while her bag placed on the table at a dinner or lunch means she would like the event to end in around five or so minutes.
Her Majesty's handbag is for more than just practicality - she also uses it to send signals to her staff, depending on where she places it. Clever! (Image: Getty)
Recently the fascinating details of how The Queen decides what to wear each morning came to light.
According to the monarch's former butler Paul Burrell, Her Majesty keeps all her outfits on a separate floor.
However, rather than sift through each outfit, Burrell explains to Yahoo UK that the Queen's dresser brings down two sketches of outfits for the Queen to choose from and attached to each are pieces of material "so that the Queen can remember whether it's silk or cotton or wool."
Once she's made her decision, the outfit is brought down to her.
Burrell revealed the Queen also refers to her clothes as "costumes", which is a rather interesting insight into how she views her public appearances!