What’s was in the Queen’s Handbag and other Secrets

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 Even though we revolted against the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth, was our queen too. For most of the us, she was the only English monarch we’d ever known. I felt an overwhelming sadness at the news of her death, and everyone I spoke to that day, said the same thing.  She was a constant in a world of chaotic change.  She was truly an unparalleled example of unwavering service to her country, and she was admired and beloved by her subjects and her non subjects like we Americans.  She lived by her mother’s mantra, passed down to her, “Never complain, never explain,” which some of the other royals would do well to adopt.

Her praises are being sung around the world, far more eloquently than I can sing them.  But I was inspired by a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “In Queen Elizabeth II’s Style, Color and Conviction” by Rory Satran that has some fascinating factoids about the Queen’s style and fashion choices. As one who is admittedly obsessed with the royals, these got my attention.  Here are some highlights:


  • The Queen loved color, and the older she got the more colorful her clothes became. She wanted to stand out in a crowd and felt if people waited for hours to see her, she should be visible.


  • What she carried in that handbag. The secret has been revealed. Lipstick and a compact; a crossword puzzle (in case she got bored); a folded bill for the collection plate at church; extra eyeglasses; a hanky; and in recent years, a cell phone to text her grandchildren.

  • Her personal dresser and assistant, Angela Kelly, broke in the Queen’s shoes before she wore them.
  • Did her jewelry make a diplomatic statement? Her jewels are valued at well over 1 billion pounds. When she met with President Trump, she wore a broach given to her by the Obamas.
  • She has a huge collection of precious jeweled Tiaras, which she loaned out to other members of the royal family. But did you know, tiaras are only worn by married women in the royal family?
  • Her crowns were very heavy. The one she worn at coronation weight over 5 lbs. She is quoted as saying, “You can’t look down to the speech, you have to take the speech up. If you did, your neck would break or it would fall off.”

  • “By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.” This is an official stamp of approval from the royal family and is a tagline that many of the top British brands covet, and include Burberry, Pringle, and Hunter. But don’t cross the Queen by sharing her secrets like her bra size, or your “appointment” will vanish in a nanosecond.

There are many other delightful anecdotes in the WSJ article.

We will truly miss the Queen and hope she is now reunited with her beloved Phillip.



  • Cheryl Benton

    The tomato behind The Three Tomatoes. Cheryl Benton, aka the “head tomato” is founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes, a digital lifestyle magazine for “women who aren’t kids”. Having lived and worked for many years in New York City, the land of size zero twenty-somethings, she was truly starting to feel like an invisible woman. She created The Three Tomatoes just for the fun of it as the antidote for invisibility and sent it to 60 friends. Today she has thousands of friends and is chief cheerleader for smart, savvy women who want to live their lives fully at every age and every stage. She is the author of the novel, "Can You See Us Now?" and co-author of a humorous books of quips, "Martini Wisdom." Because she's lived a long time, her full bio won't fit here. If you want the "blah, blah, blah", read more. www.thethreetomatoes.com/about-the-head-tomato

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