One always needs to be prepared for every situation. When one is wading the waters of social interaction one needs to have contingency plans. And contingency plans for the contingency plans! One cannot leave anything to chance.
What you need is a Get Out of Jail Free Card is basically what I’m saying. At least once in your life you must have been in a situation when you are talking to someone you really don’t want to be talking to, but there is no way to leave the conversation without appearing rude. So, you smile and pretend to listen carefully and all the while inside your head you’re praying/screaming “Get me out of heeeeere!”
If you have experienced this awkward and irksome situation, then you know that what you least want is a repeat. So you take precautions. You sit down with a friend or two and make up all sorts of possible scenarios that could at some point save your life. Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. The fake emergency phone call is definitely a favorite of mine.
And you know who else has a plan like that? Queen Elizabeth II.
It’s true! The Queen herself has a way to communicate with her service staff via super secret signs and signals. Very sly, Your Majesty.
Starring in the main role of all these clandestine means of communication is Her Majesty’s purse! You may have wondered why she is always carrying a purse around wherever she goes, and what could she possibly be carrying that is so important that she has to hold it with her own hands. Well, now you know. It’s not what’s inside of the purse that counts, it is what is on the outside.
The default handbag-holding mode is in the crook of her arm. This, according to royal historian Hugo Vickers, means that the Queen is content and everything is going swimmingly. But, if she changes the hand that holds the purse, the trouble begins! This code that means that Her Majesty has had quite enough of that, thank you very much, and she is now ready to move on. So, her ladies-in-waiting, who are standing by in the wings, swoop in to the rescue, and throw the Queen a lifeline.
Her Majesty is very subtle when sending these encoded signals; it would be hardly surprising if you have never noticed her do it. Other messages delivered in similar fashion include putting the purse on the ground, which means that she’s tired of the conversation, and placing it on the table during dinner means that she is ready to leave the event in five minutes.
But if you still need to know what she carries inside her bag, well, then, here you go. Her Launer purse contains a compact mirror, lipstick, a neatly folded bill for church donations, and a pair of reading glasses. According to some sources, she also has family photos, some mints, and small mementos from her grandchildren as well.
Another thing that those eagle-eyed royal handbag observers have noticed is that the Queen also keeps a small hook with a tiny suction cup in her bag. Her Majesty uses this to attach the purse under the table during the meal. Very clever! After all, she wouldn’t want to send a wrong message by placing it on the table or on the floor!
Take a look at this video and see if you can spot any of Queen Elizabeth secret signs!