Queen uses handbag to send her staff secret messages in meeting with Boris Johnson

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The Queen has met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time face-to-face in 15 months to discuss Government matters.

And Her Majesty has a very clever way of using her iconic handbag in a discreet manner to send her staff secret messages in social situations.

The 95 year old monarch meets with the PM at Buckingham Palace every Wednesday in what is known as an "Audience". However Covid-19 restrictions have meant that the pair were forced to conduct their meetings over the phone.

On Wednesday 23 June, the Queen and Mr Johnson were seen together for the first time at Buckingham Palace in what was the first in-person meeting since the first lockdown was introduced in March 2020.

Welcoming the Prime Minister into the room, the Queen says: "It's very nice to see you again".

Boris Johnson reveals how it has been 15 months since their last face-to-face meeting, to which Her Majesty responds: "It's most extraordinary, isn't it?"

During the meeting, we can see that Her Majesty has placed her handbag on a gold armchair in the audience room in her private apartments.

The discreet gesture reportedly means that the Queen is happy for a long chat with her guest and would prefer not to be disturbed by her staff.


However if the Queen places her handbag on the table it is believed that she is happy to end the conversation with her guest.

Meanwhile placing her bag on the floor means she's super ready to make her escape, a signal that urges her staff to move her along swiftly.

If that doesn't work she reportedly spins her ring on her finger, how nifty!

According to royal historian – Hugo Vickers – Queen Elizabeth II doesn't have much practical use for her handbag.

"It would be very worrying if you were talking to the Queen and saw the handbag move from one hand to the other," Hugo explained to People magazine.

He went on to explain that Her Majesty would use the discreet method if she was ready to wrap up a conversation at a social event.

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

The Queen isn't the only member of the royal family to use fashion as a way of sending messages.

It was previously revealed that Kate Middleton had a reason for always carrying a clutch bag in front of her.

Speaking to Good Housekeeping, founder of Beaumont Etiquett – Myka Meier – explained how it is used to avoid shaking hands.

She said: "When the Duchess is at an event, she holds her bag in front of her in both hands when shaking hands might be awkward."


While the late Princess Diana broke royal protocol by ditching her gloves to convey "approachability and warmth" to the British public.

Curator of the style exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story – Eleri Lynn – told People magazine: "She liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact."

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