The Queen of England is known for gracing most public appearances with one trusty accessory by her side: one of her hundreds of black handbags.
So it was only somewhat surprising that one of the queen’s constant companions, one of her many iconic Launer London handbags, made an appearance in her latest royal portrait.
Commissioned in honor of the Royal Air Force Club’s 100th anniversary, the portrait of the queen featured the patent leather purse at the feet of the long-reigning monarch.
On Wednesday, the queen was on hand as her likeness was unveiled at London’s Piccadilly Institute. The portrait, captured by award-winning artist Ben Sullivan, depicts the periwinkle-clad royal sitting in Windsor Castle’s White Drawing Room.
In an interview with Sky News, Sullivan said his idea was to “get behind” the role of the monarch to Queen Elizabeth herself, and the handbag played a role in doing so.
He told the publication, “It was almost happenstance that it was placed there but it gives some idea there’s actually a person as well as a figurehead — it’s personal.”
“It’s where she put it, and I thought I could take it out, but then I thought — actually it’s quite a nice thing, a personal thing,” he concluded.
But, what’s actually inside of the purse remains a mystery
While her black purse might have finally been memorialized in the annals of royal history, the highly-debated contents of the purse are still up in the air.
Aside from being used to carry items, Queen Elizabeth II’s purse reportedly serves as a way for her to send signals to her staff, according to the Telegraph.
INSIDER reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment but they didn’t immediately respond.