By Kate Friedman. Photos: Getty Images.
Have you ever seen Kate Middleton at an official engagement carrying anything other than a clutch? We know—we too racked our brains (a.k.a. Google) trying to find at least one exception, but alas, the clutch is as much a Kate Middleton staple as is her bouncy hair. However, the reason the Duchess of Cambridge always seems to select a small box clutch goes far deeper than fashion-statement purposes. Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette, told Good Housekeeping that Kate “holds her bag in front of her in both hands when shaking hands might be awkward.” Yes, duchesses have awkward moments too.
MailOnline’s expert, William Hanson, explains, “It is protocol that you do not extend your hand to any member of the royal family (blood royal or those who have married into the family) unless their hand extends first”—hence the reason Kate feels the need to pick a bag that puts both her hands out of commission.
So if you want to take a page from Kate’s book at your next awkward family gathering (or during flu season), keep your clutch in both hands and smile politely.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.