The one thing you never noticed about Princess Diana’s bags

It's so clever

Princess Diana Necklace Auction
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

It's so clever

We all know how difficult it can be to get out of a car gracefully when you’re wearing a dress, but one person who had that technique nailed was Princess Diana.

She had to be, being as she couldn’t go anywhere without being papped. And it turns out she had a secret to looking immaculate every time she arrived at a party: her handbag.

Di’s not the only Royal with a handbag secret in turns out, as the Queen uses hers to send signals to her staff, and there’s a reason Kate Middleton always carries a clutch.

princess diana

You’ll have noticed she always carried around a small clutch bag to go with her evening gowns. Not very practical you’d think, seeing as you could barely fit a lipstick in there.

But it turns out it had another purpose, which was hiding her cleavage. You see, she had to lean out ever so slightly to get out of the car, meaning if she had a low cut dress, there was a risk of showing too much cleavage.

So she’d always hold her clutch bag close to her chest, so that paps wouldn’t get a lurid shot.

princess diana

Handbag designer Anya Hindmarsh told The Telegraph, ‘She was a very loyal customer and a lot of fun. She would come and see us with no bodyguards or any fuss.'

'We used to laugh when we designed what she called her 'cleavage bags', little satin clutches which she would cover her cleavage with when she stepped out of cars,’ she revealed.

And now, looking back at pictures of Di at parties, we notice she did it all the time.

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.