I’m old enough to remember that as a little girl, I had my very own pair of little
white gloves that I was to wear each Sunday when we attended Church, because
that is what was done back then.
It was a time when men dressed nicely in their finest suits and women wore nice dresses
hose and heels.
A more refined and truly polite time that was not as casual and crass as we are today.
Some may say how stuffy and fussy it all was but at the time,
it was all I knew and now with hindsight, I rather like it.
As a child, I was also expected to wear my gloves to other nice events that we, as a family,
might be attending…be it dinner out to a nice restaurant or even when in the 6th grade,
we all took ballroom dancing lessons…
White gloves were a must for any young lady no matter your social class.
Yet no matter the occasion, gloves were always to be worn when attending anything
with my grandmother Nany.
Nany was my dad’s mother and she minced no words when it came to presenting oneself
out in public.
I think that’s why it is to this day I won’t leave the house without makeup
and or looking somewhat put together…
I might have on jeans and a ball cap, but my face will “be made up” by gosh!
I also think that’s why dad was more slouchy, especially as he got older…
never one to care much about his appearance, I would often have to get him
to change clothes before we went out.
His brother, my uncle, never owned a pair of jeans and rarely do I remember
him without a tie, but my dad, on the other hand, was happy in jeans,
a wrinkled dress shirt, an ancient cardigan with or without moth holes,
and always white socks.
Nany taught me to always put my ‘best face forward’…meaning—being presentable
no matter the situation…
I find that there is a great deal of wisdom in that.
So when it came time for me to enter the workforce, I spent my entire teaching career,
despite being a high school art teacher, ‘dressed for success.’
And I use to instill that same mindset within my students—dress the part,
and the part will be yours…
I also remember Nany always having a purse hooked to her arm…
never ever a shoulder bag or tote, but a purse only…
one to be worn in the crook of the arm.
Much like we see the Queen do.
I’ve never thought anything of the Queen and her constant companion…her purse,
because the Queen is of a certain era much like my grandmother despite the fact that the
queen is more the age of my only remaining living aunt–well into her 90’s
Many folks have often wondered as to why the Queen needs to even carry a purse
otherwise known as a handbag.
I’ve heard tell that the Queen actually carries what most women of a
certain time period carries…
lipstick, a small mirror, a few throat lozenges, a pen, a note pad, her reading glasses…
But I’ve also heard tell that the purse doubles as a bit of a secret messenger.
As in a sly little spy.
From House Beautiful
Lucky for Queen Elizabeth II, she has no need for house keys.
And we bet you would never catch her running around her house (um, palace)
looking for her misplaced cellphone. Which begs the question:
What does she keep in those famous Launer purses she carries around every day anyway?
Well, royal biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, got the scoop.
Back in 2012, Smith revealed that the Queen always keeps a mirror, lipstick,
a pen, some mint lozenges and reading glasses on hand.
And on Sundays she brings a few small bills “precisely folded” to give as a church donation.
But apparently her purse is more often used as a way to send signals
to her staff than anything else.
“It would be very worrying if you were talking to the Queen and saw the handbag
move from one hand to the other,” royal historian Hugo Vickers told PEOPLE.
You see, this is a signal the Queen uses to indicate to her staff that
she’s ready to wrap up her current conversation.
However, you might not even know it’s happening – they’re that discreet.
“It would be done very nicely,” Vickers says.
“Someone would come along and say,
‘Sir, the Archbishop of Canterbury would very much like to meet you.'”
Other cues Queen Elizabeth uses?
According to the Telegraph, if she puts her handbag on the table at dinner,
it means she wants the event to end in the next five minutes.
And 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.
But Vickers says the most dramatic gesture of all is spinning her ring,
which tells her staff she needs to be rescued immediately.
Fingers crossed this never happens to us!
So when I look at this picture taken over the weekend of Her Majesty sitting amongst
the NATO World leaders, of whom she had hosted at a reception for at Buckingham Palace,
I am imagining that under those black gloves, the Queen is spinning her
wedding ring off her finger…as in will someone please rescue me from
It seems that during the reception, several world leaders, the prime ministers of Canada,
Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, along with Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter,
all didn’t realize that there just happened to be a live mic near them recording their conversations.
They were enjoying drinks and jokes.
Why am I reminded of a fraternity party?
Their conversation was that of jocularity, jokes and laughing…
laughing at the expense of another world leader not present in the group
nor who was privy to the group’s jokes…
that member being the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Once the footage was made public and began making the viral rounds on all things social media,
The President, the brunt of the jokes, was understandably both hurt and mad.
Some will say he had it coming.
Some will say it simply shows his low esteem amongst his leadership peers.
Some will say what’s the big deal…
So what does an angry President Trump do—he packs up his things
and leaves the meetings for home ASAP.
For what it’s worth, I have two feelings about this.
My initial reaction would have been much like the President’s—
as in I would have been taking all my marbles, going home both hurt and mad.
I would be feeling like that kid everyone always talks and laughs about behind their back
but suddenly all go quiet when the kid walks up asking what everyone is laughing
However, on the other hand, I would really have liked for the President to have stayed.
To have been the bigger man amongst this group of smug sophomoric immature leaders…
knowing what they had said, he would have stayed—making them the uncomfortable ones,
Standing his ground and in the end, most likely, having the last laugh.
Because if the truth be told, he actually had the last laugh as he got what
he went to get for the US from NATO.
So what might be the one take away from all of this is that there is but one leader
who has it probably more right than all the rest…
that being The Queen.
We never hear of her ever engaging in locker room humor.
She does not get chummy with others, preferring to keep a professional relationship.
She keeps her political opinions to herself.
She is gracious and engaging and is always respectful of her guests,
whether or not she agrees with their views.
And she will never ever do a sit-down interview for all those wagging tongues
(Her children and grandchildren, however, are another story)
And whereas she is not setting national policy nor is she an elected official
voted on by the people for the people, she is a leader none the less…
She sets a standard of how to carry oneself in a public fishbowl
So what might be the real secret to the Queen’s long success in the public eye…?
I think we all know…
it’s the purse.
Because the purse does not lie.