This is the reason royal women carry clutch bags

(Image credit: 2019 Max Mumby/Indigo)

Handbags have always been an important part of the royal women's wardrobe, and not just for their convenience, though of course they for one are not used to carry change since the royal family doesn't carry money around.

Princess Diana used her clutch bag to cover her cleavage from prying photographers, whilst the Queen moves her handbag from one arm to the other to signal to her staff when she's bored of chatting to someone.

Meanwhile, royals such as Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton apparently also use their clutch bags to get out of shaking hands when it might be awkward.

(Image credit: 2019 Samir Hussein)

When the Duchesses are at events, and they don't feel like shaking hands, they can conveniently hold their clutch bags in front of them using both hands, thus not having any free hands an avoiding body contact. Pretty handy if you're around someone like President Trump we're sure.

As with everything to do with style, there is a royal fashion etiquette to follow when it comes to handbags too, which dictates that clutches should never be tucked under an arm or placed on the ground or table.

If there is no other surface to leave it on, it is simply to be slipped in between the back of the person and the back of the chair.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.