(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

The Queen always looks immaculate. She is poised, confident and always ready to deliver a stunning smile to the row of people she is constantly required to meet.

But it turns out that there is one accessory the Queen always has with her when out on public engagements, to send covert secret signals to her staff.

Rarely is the Queen seen without her trusty Launer handbag. It's thought that she has a range of the bags in an assortment of different colours.

At a recent dinner, she even debuted a gorgeously glamorous gold version of her favourite bag for the first time ever. And it's certainly impressive! She paired the bag with a rare colourful gown too - with pink and gold embellishment.

But did you know that the Queen uses this seemingly innocent accessory to indicate certain things to her staff. Could this be why she's never spotted out and about without it?

So how does the Queen put her favourite handbag to use? Royal historian Hugo Vickers offers up the many ways she makes use of the bag...

(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

If you spot the Queen shifting her bag from one hand to the other? She's sending a signal to her staff to tell them that she is ready to end a chat with whomever she's speaking to. Her committed staff will then sweep in and move the royal along - sounds like a foolproof plan to us!

Hugo also reveals that the Queen sometimes twists her wedding ring from side to side, if she'd like to be moved on from a conversation quickly. But Hugo reassures that this is always done politely, as ushers will simply inform the Queen that there is another guest who is keen to meet her.

And there's another secret signal that the monarch uses to get out of events when she's ready to head home.

Apparently, if the Queen places her trusty handbag on the table, she's sending a sign to her ladies-in-waiting that she'll want to be heading off in five minutes. If only we could do the same to get out of boring dinners or meetings...

The Queen has long been a fan of a classic Launer handbag, and was gifted one originally by the designer Sam Launer back in 1986. The company now has a royal warrant, giving the brand the royal families highly-coveted seal of approval. The brand has since sent around 200 to the Queen, although her favourite seems to be the patent black design.

(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

But why does she stick with the same bag all the time? Apparently, the royal has a very specific set of requirements for her handbag, and luckily, the Launer fits them all. She likes her handbags to have longer handles, in order for it not to get in the way whilst she shakes hands with people - so all of hers do.

Similarly, all of the Queen's Launer bags come with zips, and aren't shoulder bags, as Her Majesty prefers her handbag to be easy to open. Apparently, the Queen's bags also come with a secret hook, meaning she can hook it up to whichever table she is sat at, so it never has to go on the floor. The royal will also always carry her bag over her left arm, so that her right is free to greet people.

Now, if only we had a set of ladies-in-waiting, ready to whisk us away from awkward situations...

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.