Kate Middleton Usually Holds Her Handbag in Her Left Hand. Here’s Why

royals hold bag with left hand

From sticking to subtle, neutral nail polish shades to avoiding all-black ensembles (outside of a funeral context), there are a lot of fashion-related rules royal women follow. That includes how they hold their handbags.

As Hello! magazine points out, royals—like Kate Middleton—usually make a point to carry their handbags in their left hand, even if they’re right-handed. The reason? It allows for them to greet people with a firm handshake.

With this technique, royals can immediately extend their arm when approaching someone, versus adjusting their purse or offering an unfirm handshake using their left hand. The simple gesture makes them look natural and prepared, versus scattered and spontaneous.

Middleton isn’t the only member of the family who has used this technique. When Meghan Markle was a senior royal, she carried her purse in her left hand. Even Prince Charles will hold his belongings this way, so he’s free to use his right hand.  

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this theory. Back in 2019, Myka Meier (royal expert and founder of Beaumont Etiquette) explained the idea on Instagram, writing, “When entering a room or event, handbags or briefcases are held in the LEFT hand so that your right hand stays open to meet, greet and shake hands!” She added, “Prince Charles does this too!”

We’re totally stealing this move.

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Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...


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