STEVE PARSONS/Getty queen elizabeth
queen elizabeth is rarely seen without her signature handbag. Now, the brand behind its must-have styles has delved into its archives to release a new take on a vintage style in honor of its most famous client.
Inspired by the historic 70 years of the monarch on the throne, launcherThe Jubilee bag from is inspired by a style they launched in 1972, the one the Queen herself used to wear.
“It’s a beautifully finished product – we’re sticking to what we do well, which is making structured bags,” brand CEO Gerald Bodmer told PEOPLE from his factory in Walsall, near Birmingham.
the limited edition bagwhich retails for $3,385 and comes in five colors (with names including Monarch Purple (seen above) and the Queen’s favourite, Ebony Black), features a special leather plaque with “Platinum Edition Jubilee” written in embossed gold foil on the interior, while the exterior features the brand’s distinctive gold-plated twisted rope emblem.
natasha dado Launer’s Platinum Jubilee Limited Edition Bag – Launched April 2022
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 her grandmother’s attic. With the pattern of this particular bag long lost, Bodmer thought it was the perfect time to reinvent the classic retro style.
“I’ve always loved this bag, so I used it as inspiration. I don’t know why the queen stopped wearing it, maybe it got worn out?” Bodmer said.
natasha dado The original bag from 1972
The Queen was last seen wearing the original version of the bag in 1995 when she attended a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. Crafted in black patent, the streamlined model was worn with a bright pink jacket, floral dress and matching pink floral hat.
“She always looks so smart and stylish, and I think our bags go with it,” says Bodmer, who welcomed the Queen to her factory in 1992 and also counts Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as a customer.
Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey – October 1995
While the Traviata, handcrafted 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 manufactures specifically for her, with some minor tweaks.
“She wants less weight in her bags now, so I try to 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 possible. without spoiling it,” says the 89-year-old businessman, who took over the brand in 1981.
Queen Elizabeth and her Launer handbag
The Queen’s bag handles are also extended for ease of movement, which is even more essential now that she is about to turn 96 and uses a walking stick more due to mobility issues.
“She often carries a stick and it also takes some effort to carry a bag, but just like my wife, the Queen told me she doesn’t feel comfortable without a handbag!” Bodmer said.
Indeed, the queen has worn six different styles of the luxury brand over the past five decades and her bag is an integral part of her look, just like her iconic pearls or her brightly colored jackets.
Joe Giddens / POOL / AFP via Getty Queen Elizabeth carrying her bag and cane
The Royal Family’s history with Launer dates back to the 1950s when the Queen Mother bought 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 received a royal warrant in 1968 and the Queen became its longest-serving customer to date.
Queen Elizabeth carrying her Launer bag with Richard Nixon in 1970
The British heritage brand, which 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 customization in six easy steps. It’s something the handbag designer is immensely proud of, as is Launer’s longstanding association with the Queen.
“I feel a certain satisfaction. It’s wonderful that the Queen is still carrying our luggage after all this time and it’s wonderful that she supports a small independent business like us,” he says.