Heritage

How Queen Elizabeth II Uses Her Purse to Send Secret Signals to Her Staff

If she switches her bag from one arm to the other, watch out.
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Lucky for Queen Elizabeth II, she has no need for house keys. And we bet you would never catch her running around her palace looking for her misplaced cellphone. Which begs the question: What does she keep in those famous Launer purses she carries around every day anyway? Well, royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith got the scoop.

Back in 2012, Smith revealed that the Queen always keeps a mirror, a lipstick, a pen, some mint lozenges and reading glasses on hand. And on Sundays she brings a few small bills "precisely folded" to give as a church donation.

But apparently her purse is more often used as a way to send signals to her staff than anything else.

"It would be very worrying if you were talking to the Queen and saw the handbag move from one hand to the other," royal historian Hugo Vickers told PEOPLE. You see, this is a signal the Queen uses to indicate to her staff that she's ready to wrap up her current conversation.


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However, you might not even know it's happening — they're that discreet. "It would be done very nicely," Vickers says. "Someone would come along and say, 'Sir, the Archbishop of Canterbury would very much like to meet you.'"

Other cues Queen Elizabeth uses? According to the Telegraph, if she puts her handbag on the table at dinner, it means she wants the event to end in the next five minutes. And if she puts her bag on the floor, it shows she's not enjoying the conversation and wants to be rescued by her lady-in-waiting.


But Vickers says the most dramatic gesture of all is spinning her ring, which tells her staff she needs to be rescued immediately. Fingers crossed this never happens to us!

(h/t Mental Floss)
From: House Beautiful

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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