Find out what the Queen said in letters to Sunderland children after being asked what's in her handbag

Inspired by the children’s book, The Queen’s Handbag, pupils at Seaburn Dene Primary School decided to write to Her Majesty to find out what she carries in her bag and were shocked when they each got a personalised reply addressed from the Queen.

By Neil Fatkin
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 4:55 am

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The popular book, written by Steve Antony, chronicles the Queen’s quest to retrieve her handbag after it’s stolen by a swan as she prepares for a royal visit.

Imagination ignited, pupils wrote a generic class letter to the Queen asking questions about her handbag. However, after receiving a call from Buckingham Palace the children were asked to write their own letters and were “over the moon” when they received individual replies.

While the contents of the Queen’s handbag remained “top secret”, the replies thanked the children for their letters and addressed many of their questions.

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Arthur Edwards, six, said: “I asked her if her handbag had ever been stolen and what was in it. The letter said that ‘only the Queen knows what’s in her handbag’. She also said her handbag has never been stolen as ‘it’s well guarded by the corgis who sit next to it’.

"I was really shocked when I got a letter back.”

Thomas Stidwell, six, also asked the Queen what she keeps in her handbag and whether she takes it on all her trips.

He said: “I think she keeps her crown and all her money in her bag. She takes her handbag everywhere she goes, including on holiday.”

Seaburn Dene Primary School pupils Larnah Osmond, Emily Mews, Arthur Edwards, and Thomas Stidwell, all six, with their letters addressed from the Queen.

The children penned the letters in February, and despite the call from the palace, they were still shocked when their individual replies arrived.

Emily Mews, six, said: “I asked her whether her bag had ever been stolen by a swan, like in the story. I was really excited to get a reply and I’m going to put my letter on my bedroom wall.”

Larnah Osmond, six, added: “I asked her whether she lives in Buckingham Palace and she said she had now moved to Windsor Castle. I was really shocked when I got a reply.”

Other insightful revelations about life at the Palace included Her Majesty has a “sparkly handbag” for special occasions and has received many handbags as gifts.

An example of one of the letters by the children along with the response from Buckingham Palace.

Year 1 teacher Vicky Tough said: “We didn’t expect individual letters and it was a lovely surprise.”