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10 items the Queen carries in her handbag

Living By Mirror
"No one can NOT 'spot you a fiver' till payday" (Image: Getty Images Europe)

The Queen is very, very rarely seen without her handbag.

ALSO READ: Queen wishes Meghan Markle 'very happy birthday' on Instagram as she turns 39

Despite having hundreds in her collection, she's been using her favourite Launer black classic for more than 50 years.

But what exactly does the Monarch keep in that bag?

It has been the subject of many, many conversations over the years, with people wondering what she carries herself when she has a whole team of staff and ladies-in-waiting at her side whenever she goes to official events.

Various experts have revealed details over the years, including some classic staples and some surprisingly practical items.

And there's also a very clever item that we'll definitely be copying.

Let's take a look inside the Queen's famous handbag...

Crisp £5 note

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You know that old joke about being like the Queen because you don't have any cash? Well, that's not true. The Queen does carry some cash.

However, she doesn't take cash whenever she's out and about, and she only carries it on a Sunday.

In her book Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind The Throne, Sally Bedell revealed the Queen pops a crisp fiver in her bag so she can donate to the Church collection.

If you think that sounds tight, she sometimes increases it to a tenner.

Her security like to keep a close watch (Image: Getty Images)

Mirror and lippy

What's a Queen without her lippy? In 2012, Bedell said the Queen was like pretty much any woman and never goes anywhere without her lippy and mirror.

One wouldn't want to be caught with one's compact, would one? The Queen's favourite shade of lippy is apparently from Clarins.

ALSO READ: Meghan Markle did not fall out with Queen - but Harry did clash with stylist in tiara row

The Queen is known to whip both out after a banquet or dinner and reapplying her lipstick. When First Lady Laura Bush had a fixer upper moment during a Washington ladies’ luncheon, she said: "The Queen told me it was all right to do it."

The Queen is set to give Meghan a heartfelt treat on her 38th birthday (Image: Getty Images)

A portable hook for her bag

This is sheer genius. The Queen carries her own portable hook! Apparently, she whips out the hook and discreetly attaches it to her table to hide away her bag.

It means she can easily reach things and she doesn't have to put that precious bag on the floor.

In her book, Bedell shares an example where a dinner guest at the Queen's cousin's Berkshire home was shocked to see the Queen spitting into a plastic suction cup before attaching the hook under the table.

There's an image you can't remove from your brain.

Mints, reading glasses and a fountain pen

The Queen also carries a number of very sensible handbag staples to make sure she's always prepared.

She spends a lot of her time meeting new people, so unsurprisingly she always carries a packet of mints.

She also always has a pair of reading glasses with her and a fountain pen ready for all the signing she has to do at official events.

The Queen is always prepared - and packs a fountain pen (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Mobile phone

Royal biographer Penny Junor told the Telegraph: "She does have a mobile and she speaks to her grandchildren on it,” says Junor. “I don’t know whether it’s a smartphone though.”

We know the royal family have been keeping in touch via video call since lockdown was introduced, and the Queen has been taught how to use Zoom and Skype.

Sweeteners for her coffee

One of the more bizarre items the Queen reportedly carries around with her are little packets of sweeteners.

Even though we imagine whoever is serving her probably has a supply just in case, she's always prepared.

Phil Brown, manager of Hull City football team, sat next to the Queen at a luncheon in the Hull Guildhall, and managed to get a look inside.

He told The Lady it was "almost like a lady’s prop with essential items."

He listed the usual suspects but also said he spotted sweeteners, which she put in her coffee.

There you have it. It may not sound like a lot, but the Queen does also have ladies-in-waiting that carry the extra bits and bobs.

The Queen is always prepared to make sure she has the perfect brew (Image: Press Association)

Spare gloves and a cloth in case she gets hot

We're not sure if she actually carries these herself, or if it's something her ladies-in-waiting or staff look after for her when she's out and about.

But Phil Dampier writes in What's In The Queen's Handbag: And Other Royal Secrets that the Monarch always likes to have a set of spare gloves and tights in case the ones she's wearing rip of get dirty.

She also has a "moist lavender scented cloth", just in case she gets a bit warm and needs to cool down.

Lucky charms

The Queen is also said to carry a number of little trinkets her children have given her over the years, including miniature dogs and horses and family photos.

One of the photos in her bag is of Prince Andrew, taken after his safe return from the Falklands.

As well as looking great and being very practical, the Queen's handbags have another purpose - to send messages to her staff and ladies-in-waiting.

She carries sweet charms and trinkets from her loved ones (Image: PA)

A shift of the bag from one hand to another is an indication she is ready to move on from whoever she is speaking to.

If she wants to leave an event all together, the Monarch places her handbag on a table.

If she can't use her bag, the Queen uses her wedding ring to send messages to royal officials.

She gives it a discreet twist if she would like to end a conversation quickly, and a more dramatic spin of the ring means she is particularly keen to leave.

Once they've seen the signal, staff will then pop over and interrupt, saying the Queen is needed for something else.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers told People magazine: "It would be very worrying if you were talking to the Queen and saw the handbag move from one hand to the other.

"Luckily, they’d let you down easy.'

"It would be done very nicely. Someone would come along and say, "Sir, the Archbishop of Canterbury would very much like to meet you'."

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