What’s in the Queen’s handbag?

Queen Elizabeth II enjoyng the sun. Picture by Bill Ingalls

Although it may be a challenge to guess what is in any woman’s handbag, it is safe to assume we all carry the basic essentials; phone, purse and keys. But what if we didn’t need to carry money, there was no need for us to own a phone or even house keys? That is the everyday life of HRH Queen Elizabeth. So what exactly does Her Majesty carry in her handbag?

The Diamond Jubilee will celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign. Although it will not be officially celebrated until June, there have already been some occasions, competitions and discussions over the event.

Her Majesty earned approval with the locals by restoringPerth to city status earlier this month, but there has still been much debate over her keynote speech. Given last week to a large audience including the current and two previous prime ministers, the Queen avoided the topic of Scottish independence. Speaking instead on the “spirit of neighbourliness and celebration of own communities” and of the “resilience, ingenuity and tolerance” of the British people. HRH went on to state she would remain as head of state and joked of her dealings with the past 12 prime ministers.

In the run up and during the Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be touring the UK, along with her infamous handbag.

There have been plenty of guesses over time, and even a book, which pieces together many clues and hints over the contents of the bag. ‘What’s in the Queen’s handbag and other royal secrets’ by Phil Dampier and Ashley Walton claims the Queen carries everything with her from good luck charms given to her by her children to family photographs.  It even goes on to claim there is a secret language conveyed for the Queen to comminute with her staff.  If the Queen places her handbag on the table at dinner it signifies she wishes the event to finish for example. One of the most popular claims, both inside the book and out, is a hook the Queen carries especially for her handbag; this is designed to keep her bag from ever touching the floor.

From the mouths of babes:

To help investigate this mystery I ask primary school pupils aged between seven and eight what they think is in the Queen’s handbag. The most popular answers were money, make-up and an iphone2. However, others believe HRH carries; a spare hat, a shiny crown and even her favourite corgi, while one boy believes the Queen “doesn’t need any money in her purse cause she can have anything she wants.”

Top Five Facts you didn’t know about the Queen:

  1. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944. Her Majesty currently has three corgis – Monty,Willowand Holly.
  2. In 60 years, The Queen has undertaken 261 official overseas visits, to 116 different countries.
  3. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have sent approximately 45,000 Christmas cards during The Queen’s reign.
  4. Over the reign, Her Majesty has given regular audiences to 12 Prime Ministers. Ranging from Winston Churchill to the present David Cameron.
  5. Unusual live gifts given to The Queen on foreign tours include: two tortoises given to The Queen in the Seychelles in 1972; a seven-year-old bull elephant called “Jumbo” given by the President of Cameroon in 1972 to mark The Queen’s Silver Wedding, and two black beavers given after a Royal visit to Canada.

Read the Queen’s complete keynote speech here

See all the pictures of the Queen and her audience during her speech here