The Queen used everyday objects to send secret code signals to her staff

The Queen spent most of her life in one official engagement or another and developed a series of subtle codes to let palace staff know when she’d had enough.

Her Majesty’s iconic long-handled Launer handbag, for example, is used for much more than carrying around a packet of mints.

After all, the monarch has no need for a front door key, or even a passport.

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II wrote a secret hidden letter which can only be opened in 2085

Royal author Sally Bedell Smith revealed that alongside a neatly folded £5 for the church collection on Sundays, Her Majesty always carried a fountain pen, a small hand-mirror and a lipstick.

And royal footman Ian Scott Hunter revealed on Antiques Roadshow that the lippie is used as a secret signal to her staff when she was ready to leave an event.

He explained: "I believe there’s etiquette that ladies do not make their faces up in public.

"But, she had her bag over the side and she would take her lipstick out and put it on with no mirror or anything, and that was a signal to the ladies that she was ready to leave.

"So, of course, they would all get their bits and bobs together and Her Majesty stands up, so they’re all ready and prepared."

But even without opening the bag, Her Majesty could use it to send a variety of coded signals.

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Royal historian Hugo Vickers told the US magazine People that when The Queen shifted her bag from one arm to the other she is ready to end a conversation.

And simply by her bag on the table during an event, He Majesty would let her bodyguards that she's ready to leave.

Her Majesty’s wedding ring was also used to send secret messages. If she twiddled it, it meant that she was tired of a conversation. The faster the twiddle, the more bored she was.

The Queen wasn’t the only royal to use a handbag for a hidden purse.

Myka Meier, founder of London etiquette school Beaumont Etiquette revealed that while the late Queen carried her bag on her left arm leaving her right hand free to wave, Kate Middleton – now Princess of Wales – holds her handbag with both hands in front of her to hide the shaking when she gets nervous.


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