Queen Elizabeth's Favorite Handbag Brand Launches New Retro Style in Honor of Queen's Jubilee

No accessory is more iconic than the Queen's handbag

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Queen Elizabeth. Photo: STEVE PARSONS/getty

Queen Elizabeth is rarely seen without her iconic handbag. Now, the brand behind her go-to styles has dug through its archives to launch a new take on a vintage style in honor of its most famous customer.

Inspired by the monarch's historic 70 years on the throne, Launer's Jubilee Bag is based on a style that they launched in 1972 — one that the Queen herself used to wear.

"It's a beautifully finished product — we stick to what we are good at, which is making structured bags," CEO of the brand, Gerald Bodmer, tells PEOPLE from his factory in Walsall, near Birmingham.

The limited-edition bag, which costs $3,385 and is available in five colors (with names including Monarch Purple (see above) and the Queen's favorite, Ebony Black), features a special leather plaque with "Platinum Edition Jubilee" written in embossed gold foil on the inside, while the outside features the brand's distinctive gold-plated twisted rope emblem.

Launer's Platinum Jubilee Limited Edition Bag
Launer's Platinum Jubilee Limited Edition Bag - Launched April 2022. Launer

The making of the bag was possible after a member of the public contacted the handbag designer after discovering the original design (identified by a number rather than a name) in his grandmother's attic. With the pattern for this particular bag long lost, Bodmer thought it was the perfect time to reinvent the classic retro style.

"I always liked that bag, so I used it as inspiration. I don't know why the Queen stopped carrying it, maybe it wore out?" Bodmer says.

The original bag from 1972. Launer

The Queen was last seen wearing the original version of the bag in 1995 when she attended a thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey. Made in black patent, the pared-back style was worn with a bright pink jacket, floral dress and matching pink floral hat.

"She always looks so smart and elegant, and I think our bags go together with that," says Bodmer, who welcomed the Queen to his factory in 1992 and also counts Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as a customer.

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Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey - October 1995.

While the Traviata, handmade in fine calf leather with a soft goat suede lining, was once her go-to style, the Queen has more recently opted for the smaller but sturdier Turandot, which Bodmer makes specifically for her, with some minor adjustments.

"She wants less weight in her bags now, so I try and make the bag light enough for her to carry. There are all sorts of extras, so I just try to make it as light as I can without spoiling it," says the 89-year-old businessman, who took over the brand in 1981.

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Queen Elizabeth and her Launer handbag.

The handles on the Queen's bag are also made longer for ease of movement, something that's even more essential now she's about to turn 96 and using a walking cane more due to mobility issues.

"She's often carrying a stick and that takes some effort to carry a bag as well, but just like my wife, the Queen told me she doesn't feel comfortable without a handbag!" Bodmer says.

Indeed, the Queen has worn six different styles from the luxury brand over the last five decades and her bag is much a part of her look as her signature pearls or brightly colored jackets.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence, after a reception with representatives from local community groups to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee on February 5, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth carrying her bag and her walking stick. Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

The royal family's history with Launer dates back to the 1950s when the Queen Mother purchased her first bag from the brand. Founded in the 1940s by Sam Launer, who fled Czechoslovakia with his wife and two sons during the war, the brand was given a Royal Warrant in 1968 and the Queen has become its longest-standing customer to date.

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Queen Elizabeth carrying her Launer bag with Richard Nixon in 1970.

The British heritage brand, who launched its e-commerce site in 2008, has seen a steady increase in online sales over the years, with many online customers opting for their unique "build a bag" service, where you can choose your own materials, colors and personalization in six easy steps. It's something the handbag designer is immensely proud of — as he is of Launer's longtime association with the Queen.

"I feel a certain amount of satisfaction — it's wonderful that the Queen still carries our bags after all this time and it's marvelous that she supports a small independent company like us," he says.

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