Royal Handbag Analysis: What’s Your Bag Trick?

Royal bag trick

What’s your favorite royal bag trick?

What’s a handbag for? The answer seems obvious. We carry bags to accessorize, tote around our belongings, and express our personal style. To many a fashionista, the question should rather be: why wouldn’t you always have a bag by your side?

But some people—especially royalty—have found uses for their bags outside obvious function and fashion. Always in the public eye, royals have discovered some bag tricks (both successful and…less successful) that may be foreign territory to us mere commoners. Let’s take a look at the bag tricks of three famous royals, shall we?

1. Princess Diana: Cleavage Concealer

The ever-fashionable Lady Di could often be found carrying a clutch close to her chest. Now, the reason is no longer a mystery. As Glamour recently pointed out, the clutches were used for modesty. In an interview with The Telegraph, handbag designer Anya Hindmarch—of whom Princess Diana was an early client—divulged that the royal would come to her for “cleavage bags.”

“We used to laugh when we designed what she called her ‘cleavage bags,’ little satin clutches which she would cover her cleavage with when she stepped out of cars,” said Hindmarch. The perfect way to avoid a wardrobe malfunction? We think so.

Photo courtesy: Anwar Hussein via Glamour

Photo courtesy: Anwar Hussein via Glamour

Photo courtesy: Tim Graham via Glamour

Photo courtesy: Tim Graham via Glamour

Photo courtesy: Justin Goff via Glamour

Photo courtesy: Justin Goff via Glamour

2. The Queen: Secret Signaler

We already know the detailed contents of Queen Elizabeth II’s signature Launer bag, courtesy of Glamour, but the Queen’s handbag uses go beyond mere toting. In fact, her bag serves as a stealthy symbol.

“If the Queen places her handbag on the table at dinner, it signals that she wants the event to end in the next five minutes,” The Telegraph wrote earlier this year. “If she puts her bag on the floor, it shows she’s not enjoying the conversation and wants to be rescued by her lady-in-waiting.”

Photo courtesy: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Photo courtesy: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

3. Grace Kelly: Baby Bump Veiler

You didn’t think we’d forget this classic, did you? In perhaps the most famous royal handbag ‘trick’ to date, Grace Kelly—after being crowned Princess of Monaco—held her Hermès bag over her belly to conceal her pregnancy with Prince Rainier III.

Hollywood royalty turned actual royalty led to handbag royalty: as you may know, this Hermès bag is now titled the “Kelly,” after the princess herself. And it goes without saying that the Kelly, along with the Birkin and Constance, is royalty in the world of handbags.

Photo courtesy: Bill Ingraham AP

Photo courtesy: Bill Ingraham AP

Photo courtesy: Howard Sochurek/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photo courtesy: Howard Sochurek/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photo courtesy: AP

Photo courtesy: AP

Which is your favorite of these regal bag tricks? Are you partial to Lady Di’s modesty, the Queen’s sneaky language, or Grace Kelly’s subtle moves? And do you have any ‘secret’ handbag tips of your own you’re willing divulge? Share them with us in the comments!

Read related articles below:

The Hermes Kelly Encyclopedia
Battle of the “It” Bags: Celebrity Style Edition
Hermès 101: Origins, Equestrians, and Aristocrats
5 British Luxury Staples

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