What’s in the bag, Your Majesty?

A delivery from Launer gets us thinking

With a box of the Queen’s signature Launer London handbags landing in the ELLE fashion cupboard this morning, we couldn’t help but wonder: what does Her Majesty carry in there? iPod? The keys to Buckingham Place? Emergency hip-flask of gin?

According to Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind The Throne, the answer is somewhat lo-fi: think reading glasses, mints, a fountain pen, a portable under-table hook and a fiver to donate to the church collection on Sundays.

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The Queen is also in the habit of carrying a small mirror and a lipstick – and she isn’t afraid to use them.

‘At the end of a luncheon or a dinner, even a banquet set with silver gilt and antique porcelain, she has the somewhat outré habit of opening her bag, pulling out a compact and reapplying her lipstick,’ Bedell Smith wrote in The Lady last year.

‘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.”’

As for extra pairs of gloves and needles, thread and safety pins for emergency repairs – well, that’s what ladies-in-waiting are for.

Further reading: What's In The Queen's Handbag And Other Royal Secrets, by Phil Dampier.

Further shopping: in-store now.

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