• The Queen at 90
The Queen at 90

How to end dragging conversations, according to the Queen

If she's twisting her ring, you know you're in trouble...

There’s always one of those people at the party – the person who backs you into a corner and then drones on at you for hours, leaving you with no way of escape.

You might already have a special S.O.S. worked out with your mates, like a special wink or a key word. But let’s face it, working ‘pineapple’ into a conversation isn’t always the easiest.

So why not take a few top tips from the real master of secret signs – the Queen.

You might not know it, but HRH Queen Elizabeth II is well known for her use of subtle signals to call staff to her rescue when a conversation is dragging. And with all those royal engagements to attend, you can bet it happens a lot.

Here are her Maj’s favourite fool-proof tactics for getting out of a sticky social situation…

The bag swap

More than just a favourite accessory, the handbag is the Queen’s first port of call when she wants to signal that her current conversation needs to come to a close.

Involving nothing more than a simple moving it from one arm to another, it’s subtle enough to be barely noticeable to anyone but her staff who know it means they need to come and intervene on the Queen’s behalf. Now that’s what we mean by impactful accessories…

The ring twist

If the bag swap has gone unnoticed, it’s time to step it up a notch and start ‘the ring twist’. A more dramatic gesture, royal aides know when they see this that they need to step in ASAP and move the conversation along.

Cue an immediate interruption and a polite aide saying, ‘Sir, the Archbishop of Canterbury would like to meet you’ as the bore in question is gently directed away towards some poor, unsuspecting fresh meat.

The bag drop

Oooh, the bag drop – BURN! This is the signal which really means business.

The final weapon in her signing arsenal, placing the royal handbag on the floor is basically the Queen’s way of saying ‘Get me out of here NOW!’. Or whatever the more regal equivalent of that is. Either way, her aides know that then her handbag touches the ground, they need to get her out of the situation pronto.

The secret buzzer

But what about when there’s no escape? What about the enemy is literally within your own walls?

Ever the pragmatist, the Queen already has this one covered thanks to a secret buzzer. So if an official meeting is dragging, all she needs to do is discreetly reach and press the buzzer and the staff outside will open the doors and usher her galling guest out.

Ok, this might not be one you can emulate yourself, but if we ever ridiculously rich and famous, we’re definitely getting one installed.

And of course if the buzzer fails? Well there’s always the corgis to set lose…

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