Don’t Touch The Queen’s Handbag – Former US Protocol Chief Dishes On Royal Purse Procedures

Don’t Touch The Queen’s Handbag - Former US Protocol Chief Dishes On Royal Purse Procedures

British royals news reveals that one former Chief of Protocol for the United States once got a stern warning about not messing with Queen Elizabeth’s handbag. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Capricia Penavic Marshall served as Chief of Protocol, and in her new book she shared an anecdote about the time she nearly made a big faux pas when she attempted to help the Queen with her purse.

The whole thing happened during President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Buckingham Palace back in 2011. Marshall previously held the role of Social Secretary during the Clinton administration, and in that role, she was used to offering to take women’s handbags during “official moments.”

Well, during the Obamas’ visit to Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth was about to step onto the palace lawn for the arrival ceremony. Marshall made an ever-so-slight move forward.

During an interview with People Magazine, Marshall said that as the Queen walked out, she uttered to her British counterpart, “Oh my goodness, Her Majesty has her bag.”

Marshall then made what she described as a slight move with her foot. What happened next was shocking. “He, with both of his hands, pushed me back against the wall and said, ‘Do not touch the bag.’” Marshall then immediately apologized, and the man told her that they never touch the bag, even though they don’t really know what’s in the bag.

Interestingly, Marshall also said that she learned later that Queen Elizabeth may in fact use her handbag as a signal – if the bag is on one part of the Queen’s arm, it means things are going well, but if she lowers it, it means, “end this now, I want to go.”

Marshall also said that the buzz is that Queen Elizabeth carries a cell phone in the bag so she can at a moment’s notice call her grandchildren, but really what’s in that handbag remains a huge mystery.

Marshall recounts the story in her book, which is called “Protocol: The Power of Diplomacy and How to Make It Work For You,” which was released earlier this week. In the book, Marshall shares many stories from her years of work, yet it apparently won’t solve the mystery of what’s in the Queen’s handbag. Be sure to check back here at CDL for more British royals news and updates.

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