Queen Elizabeth II’s handbag has always been a mystery for royal fans and the entire world. Even Joan Collins was not untouched by this enigma; the 82-year-old actress always wanted to know the contents of the queen’s handbag. The British royal is rarely seen without her favorite accessory – her handbag.
The nonagenarian’s handbag featured in the official portrait on the occasion of her 90th birthday released by the Buckingham Palace on April 20, a day prior to her birthday. In the picture, Elizabeth posed with her five great grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren. Her small black leather handbag was seen in the hands of Zara Phillip’s daughter Mia Tindall.
Her bag has become one of the iconic symbols of her sartorial style over the years. Elizabeth has around 200-300 bags by Launer. She has the bags in black, white and beige that boxy, with short handles. The 90-year-old prefers the Royale and the black patent Traviata styles.
She carries her bag everywhere from informal walkabout, to a state engagement, or enjoying a trip to the races. Elizabeth always carries it on the left arm, so that it does not come in the way when she shakes hands. Launer was granted a royal warrant for service to the monarch 1981.
“All bags made for the Queen are bespoke, made of the softest calf leather. The style she has been using most in recent years is the Traviata, a simple shape with short handles and the famous Launer silver twisted rope logo used as a clasp on the front,” said Gerald Bodmer, owner of Launer. It is reported that she carries her reading glasses, other practical must-haves like a handkerchief, mints, a fountain pen, and most importantly a portable hook which is used to hang the bag neatly under tables.
She also keeps a small mirror and a lipstick handy, which is mostly by Clarins and her favorite brand. Elizabeth most likely has a perfume tucked in her bag, which would be by Floris. The company has a royal warrant since 1820.
Phil Dampier author of “What's In The Queen’s Handbag: And Other Royal Secrets,” said that she has a collection of good luck charms given to her by her children, including miniature dogs, horses and saddles, and family photos inside the bag. The queen’s “most personal and prized possessions in the bag is a small metal make-up case.” It was given by Prince Philip as a wedding gift.
Other items in her handbag include treats for her corgis, a crossword cut from a newspaper by a servant in case she has time to kill” and a penknife. Besides, a diary and a small camera to “take pictures of visiting presidents and other VIPs” and a pair of binoculars for the races are also stashed inside. Elizabeth does not carry a mobile, except when she is driving around Balmoral or Windsor or Sandringham on her off days.
Her handbag is her “comfort blanket” and she communicates with her staff through it. It is used to send out coded signals to staff and guests at lunches and other events. When she keeps her bag on the table it means she wishes to take her leave in around five minutes, while putting it on the floor it tells aides to speak to a guest or move them along the table.