Never without his handbag. Head of state for nearly seventy years now, Queen Elizabeth II stands out with a style all of her own. During most of her official travels, the Sovereign appears in a colorful costume, often accessorized with a pearl necklace and a diamond brooch. She also carries in her hand another accessory, which has not left her for over 50 years: a handbag from the house of Launer. Since 1968, the luxury London brand has been the official leather goods supplier to the British royal family. Each year, Elizabeth II receives up to five new pieces, and currently has a collection of Launer handbags estimated at 200 copies.
Most often black in color, although she has copies in different shades, the queen’s handbag was made specifically for her. Made to measure, it is adapted to its size and preferences, and therefore has slightly longer than normal hanses and silk linings. She is the only one to own this model, and the only one to be allowed to wear it in public.
The handbag, Elizabeth II’s secret weapon
More than a fashion accessory, the queen’s handbag sometimes acts as a discreet means of communication. As royal historian Hugo Vickers recently explained in an interview with People Magazine, Elizabeth II sometimes uses her handbag to send messages to those close to her: when she changes hands, it is because she must slip away. When she puts it on the ground, it is because she wants to interrupt a conversation. “It would be very disturbing if you spoke to the Queen and saw the purse pass from one hand to the other,” the historian said in the fall of 2020. “It would be very well done. Someone. would come and say, ‘Sir, the Archbishop of Canterbury would very much like to meet you,’ “he explained. It just goes to show that nothing is ever left to chance around the Crown …
Queen Elisabeth II of England © Agency