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Boyne: What does she have in there?

Linda Stamper Boyne
Vail, CO Colorado

There are a couple of common elements among women of all ages. Of course there are exceptions, but in general, we all carry some sort of bag to haul around our stuff, and we all, when in like-minded groups, can be reduced to uncontrollable giggles when discussing something we all find funny. Two unrelated things? Not so. Read on.

My mom told me about a conversation she had a couple of weeks ago with a few other ladies that left them laughing to the point of tears. What could send a group of 70-ish women into giggling fits, you might ask?

Well, it seems that one of the ladies had seen a program about the British royal family and she commented that Queen Elizabeth II clearly carries her handbag with her everywhere, even around the private areas of Buckingham Palace.

And it’s always an old-fashioned “handbag” that rests in the crook of her elbow, not a purse or shoulder-slung bag. It got them wondering what she could be carrying in that purse that’s so essential she must always have it on her person.

They immediately covered the essentials – compact, lipstick, handkerchief, a comb – and moved onto the possible – cell phone, hat pins to hold on the ubiquitous hats, hard candies (most likely butterscotch) – before heading into the ridiculous – a tiny, little makeup artist to freshen her face before appearances or a big, red EASY button from the Staples commercials.

And this is where I picked up the topic. What else could be in there?

I think she has a Tide-to-Go stick to remove the tea dribbles from her clothes that she undoubtedly gets from time to time. Perhaps she has a Life Alert in case she falls and can’t get up. Maybe her handbag is her version of “The Football,” the president’s nuclear-codes briefcase, so she doesn’t have to have one of those oddly-dressed Beefeaters following her around all the time.

This question was too good to keep to myself, so I polled friends and co-workers to get their thoughts.

The responses ran the gamut from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Based on the variety of weaponry suggested, many think she can take care of herself in dangerous situations should security fall down on the job: pepper spray; a small Derringer pistol, probably with a pearl handle; a shank; the comically large 50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol; and my favorite, nunchucks (go with the visual of the queen busting out her martial arts moves!).

Several referenced her family and her beloved dogs. Possibilities included dog treats, leashes, a lock of fur from one of her Corgies who has passed or perhaps one of the living Corgies.

One person thought that perhaps that’s where the king is, since we’ve never seen him. And I’m not sure if this would be considered treason, but one of her loyal subjects from Australia thinks that’s where she keeps Prince Charles’s manhood, as well as that of Princes Andrew and Edward, but not Princess Anne’s, “who seems to be the manliest of the bunch.”

Some people believe the queen to have a random assortment of secret skills and hobbies, unbeknownst to the world at large. One person thinks she carries the iPod President Obama gave her but replaced his speeches with a bunch of gangster rap.

It was proposed she might carry a flask or perhaps a can of Skoal. Several people suggested items that would assume the octogenarian’s libido is still quite strong. Another thinks she carries her fly box with her, meticulously arranging and rearranging them so that she is ready to fish at any given moment.

Other thoughts: leftover rolls from the basket in a restaurant; a Magic 8 Ball, for really important decisions; Purell, for she does have to shake a lot of hands; a Be-Dazzler; a whoopee cushion; her crown; lots and lots of Altoids because they are (read this with a British accent) “curiously strong”; Depends; a lucky rabbit’s foot; a micro-recorder; GPS in case she gets lost walking around the royal grounds; gum.

In reality, research indicates that she uses her handbag in an intricate series of moves to signal messages to her staff and that she only carries the most basic necessities.

But I bet when she gets together with Queen Sophia of Spain, they giggle up a storm.


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