Monday 24 July 2017

This is how Britain's Queen Elizabeth escapes awkward conversations

Queen Elizabeth II greets Sir Jeremy Heywood (back to camera) as she attends a reception for female permanent secretaries at The Queen's Gallery on February 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II greets Sir Jeremy Heywood (back to camera) as she attends a reception for female permanent secretaries at The Queen's Gallery on February 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Ronald McDonald House Evelina London to open their 'home away from home' accommodation for the families of children treated at Evelina London Children's Hospital.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Ronald McDonald House Evelina London to open their 'home away from home' accommodation for the families of children treated at Evelina London Children's Hospital.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Place2Be Big Assembly With Heads Together for Children's Mental Health Week at Mitchell Brook Primary School on February 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Kate Middleton attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
(Left to right) The Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the annual evening reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace, London.
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

It's no surprise that as Britain's longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth has perfected the art of the exit strategy.

While her role requires meeting British citizens and dignitaries around the world, Queen Elizabeth II reportedly has a code for her handlers letting them know it's time to jump into an awkward conversations.

The move?

She simply moves her handbag from one arm to another and her aides know it's time to move things along.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II

According to People magazine, if the situation requires emergency intervention, she puts her purse on the ground of fiddles with her wedding ring - in order to ensure she maintains a certain level of decorum without offending the person she's speaking to.

"It would be very worrying if you were talking to the queen and saw the handbag move from one hand to the other. Someone would come along and say, 'Sir, the archbishop of Canterbury would very much like to meet you'," royal historian Hugo Vickers told the mag.

"Luckily, they’d let you down easy."

But not all social situations require a handbag and she is said to have a special buzzer in his office in Buckingham Palace which she presses to let her staff know it's time to wrap things up.

It's a trick she appears to have passed on to granddaughter-in-law Kate Middleton, who reportedly carries a clutch at all times in order to avoid handshakes.

"When the Duchess is at an event, she holds her bag in front of her in both hands when shaking hands might be awkward," etiquette expert Myka Meier told Good Housekeeping earlier this year.

"Or she can place it in one hand to have the other free. It never gets tucked under an arm or placed on the ground or table. If there's not a stool available, slip it between your back and the back of the chair."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Place2Be Big Assembly With Heads Together for Children's Mental Health Week at Mitchell Brook Primary School on February 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Place2Be Big Assembly With Heads Together for Children's Mental Health Week at Mitchell Brook Primary School on February 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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