That’s right. The Queen has a secret code.

What are some of the subtle ways Queen Elizabeth shows her disapproval or dislike of a person? She is known to be polite under all circumstances.

answered by Julia Chen

Her handbag.

Notice how she always has her handbag by her side

Queen Elizabeth II is always seen with her iconic handbag. In fact, she has been using almost identical handbags for more than 60 years.

When you think about it, usually leaders and important figures have people carrying around things for you— so there really is no need for the Queen to carry a handbag.

So why does the Queen carry one?

It’s because she likes it, right?

That’s partially correct, but there’s another function that the bag holds— it’s part of the Queen’s secret code.

That’s right. The Queen has a secret code.

Because it’s rare for people to have an opportunity to meet with a royal, people tend to talk a lot. Being the Queen, it’s not proper to cut off people. So when she’s getting tired of a particular conversation she simply lets other people cut off the conversation for her.

To tell her entourage that she wants the conversation to end, she switches her handbag from one arm to the other arm (usually it’s left to right). Doing so signals her handlers to step in and politely usher her away. Other signals include:

  • Putting her handbag on the dinner table, indicating that she wants the event to end in 5 minutes,
  • And twisting her wedding ring or putting her handbag on the floor, indicating that she doesn’t like the conversation and would like to be rescued.

Pretty nifty trick in my opinion.

So the next time you find yourself with the rare opportunity to speak with Queen Elizabeth II herself, keep your eye on that handbag.


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