Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II.Getty

We've all been there. Stuck in a social setting that we can't get out of and praying someone comes to the rescue. If only there was a way to signal you're ready to leave...

As you can imagine, Queen Elizabeth II spends a huge amount of time meeting and greeting dignitaries, politicians, and famous figures all over the world. One can only imagine the amount of time she spends at events where she is expected to give everyone some time.

Well, according to royal historian Hugo Vickers, the Queen has several subtle signs that she is ready to exit a conversation or an event.

The Queen meeting dignitaries

The Queen meeting dignitaries

It's all in the bag 

Next time you're having a look at the Queen entertain guests at an event, keep an eye on her bag. The bag, according to Vickers, is used by the Queen to indicate her wishes when navigating official functions.

If the Queen shifts her bag from one hand to the next, it signals that she is ready to end her current conversation. As well as this, if those in the know see that the Queen has placed her bag on a table, they'll be aware that the Queen is ready to leave an event in the next five minutes. 

Finally, should the Queen start to twist her wedding ring, immediate action is required! The twisting of the ring means she wishes to exit a conversation without delay. We sure wouldn't want to leave the Queen waiting, would you?

The Queen and her bag

The Queen and her bag

Do the rest of the royals have secret hand signals?

As far as we know, the rest of the royals don't use coded hand signals the way the Queen does. Reports, however, suggest that Kate Middleton holds her bag in front of her with two hands, in order to avoid awkward handshakes with guests and fans alike.

One thing is for sure, we'll be keeping an eye on all royal accessories from here on in to see if we can distinguish any clues about their intentions!

* Originally published in April 2019.