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Handbags - Feature Article

Why do the British Royal Family all Carry Clutches?

A carefully selected clutch bag can provide an important finishing touch to any outfit. Clutch bags offer a convenient, yet stylish, accessory that will work for an array of occasions; whether this is an elegant dinner, a wedding ceremony or a christening. Recently, clutch bags are making a resurgence and this is being aided by one very famous family.

You may have spotted that the British Royal Family are rarely pictured without a clutch in hand. From Princess Diana to Kate Middleton, the Royal Family adore a clutch, and apparently, they have their reasons. The first being that the clutch provides a solution to a fashion mishap just waiting to happen.

In a 2009 interview with The Telegraph, designer Anya Hindmarch revealed that  the Princess of Wales was a loyal customer of hers: "She would come and see us with no bodyguards or any fuss.” Hindmarch explained that Princess Diana’s number one use for the clutch bag was, in fact, to cover her cleavage: “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."

Aside from the British Royal Family’s modest use of this style staple, it is also thought that the clutch bag assists in conducting their day-to-day royal activities. It is thought that the Royals use their clutch, or a handbag with a small handle, to avoid having to shake the hands of people with whom it might be awkward on royal engagements. The bag helps to keep their hands occupied and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, can often be seen holding her clutch bag in front of her when the situation requires.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has been criticised for breaking this royal protocol by carrying larger bags in the past. Meghan’s handbags tend to have a shoulder strap or large top handle, which is very different to the handbags worn by the Queen or the Duchess of Cambridge. As time progresses it is thought that Meghan will sport more clutch bags, in keeping with protocol and the royal fashion requirements.

However, Meghan isn’t completely against the clutch bag trend, she has already been spotted wearing some lust-worthy bags, including a Christian Dior Navy satin Bee clutch with gold-tone hardware and a Gucci Dionysus Super Mini Black Suede Bag with silver hardware. Both of these designer mini bags are elegant, stylish, but most importantly, in keeping with clutch bag protocol.

Meghan Markle wearing Christian Dior Navy satin Bee clutch with gold-tone hardware

According to Poshmark, the sales of the Gucci Dionysus worn by Meghan went up by 214% after being seen in her hands. It is no surprise, as the British Royal family are no stranger to establishing fashion trends. The ‘Kate Middleton’ effect has been felt by many fashion houses when their items are worn by the Duchess. Kate’s love of the clutch bag allegedly saw sales of the accessory sky-rocket from 2003 when she was first pictured wearing the style on her royal engagements.

Meghan Markle wearing Gucci Dionysus Super Mini Black Suede Bag with silver hardware

Kate often touts some stylish high-street pieces, however, in her collection you will also find an elegant Miu Miu clutch bag in red suede, which she has carried on a visit to Canada, and a Prada Raso Minaudiere in pink satin. The Duchess also sticks to the Queen’s penchant for a small top handle handbag. In March 2017, the Duchess visited Paris for two days and carried a burgundy quilted Chanel Flap Bag with Enamel Hardware. The bag was from the Chanel Brasserie collection F/W15.

Kate Middleton wearing Chanel Burgundy quilted top handle Handbag
Kate Middleton wearing Chanel Burgundy quilted top handle Handbag

Whether your preference is for the clutch bag, or not, we are sure the Royal Family have inspired many with their thought-out style choices. Discover our full collection of pre-loved clutch bags online at Xupes here. You can also find out which watches are often seen on the wrists of the British Royal Family online at Xupes Journal here.