Subtle sign the Queen liked ScoMo


Prime Minister Scott Morrison's meeting with Queen Elizabeth II was all smiles and chuckles yesterday - but one subtle sign proved the royal was actually enjoying herself.

The Queen's meeting with Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny even ran over time yesterday as they chatted about horseracing and the drought ahead of D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth today.

But it was the placing of the Queen's handbag that spoke volumes.

The position of the 93-year-old Queen's handbag in the Audience Room at Buckingham Palace sends a specific signal to her lady-in-waiting standing metres away.

If the Queen places her bag on the chair, it means she is happy to keep chatting away.

Queen Elizabeth II met Scott and Jenny Morrison. Picture: Instagram
Queen Elizabeth II met Scott and Jenny Morrison. Picture: Instagram

But if the bag is placed on the table, or worse the floor, the Queen's lady-in-waiting knows to either cut the meeting short, or to rush over and end the meeting completely.

According to The Australian, the bag being placed on the table gives visitors a very quick five-minute audience with the Queen.

But everything went well for the Morrisons, with the PM even getting a laugh out of the Queen.

The meeting started off smoothly, with an initial bow and curtsy, but briefly turned to confusion when the Queen asked about the couple's 26-hour journey to the UK from Australia.

After bowing and shaking hands with the 93-year-old, the Queen asked if they had just arrived in the country.

"We have, from the Solomon Islands," the prime minister said.

His response took the Queen by surprise, who seemed to have thought they had travelled from Australia.

"Oh really," she said, eyes widening.

Trying to explain what he meant, Mr Morrison added: "On the way."

The Queen appeared to be even more confused.

"Oh," the monarch said, before smiling, letting out a single chuckle of amusement.

Mr Morrison admitted the Solomon Islands were "not quite on the way" to the UK but explained he had made an important visit to meet that country's new prime minister.

"Oh, was it? Oh, right," she smiled, understanding him.

Mr Morrison said the Solomon Islands government asked to pass their regards to her, laughing in relief that the confusion had ended.

"Oh, that's very kind of them, that's very nice," she said, before inviting them to sit with her.


The PM also met with Prince Charles. Picture: Adam Taylor
The PM also met with Prince Charles. Picture: Adam Taylor


The Morrisons gave her a gift of Andrew Rule's book Winx: The Authorised Biography, which had been signed by the champion racehorse's trainers and owners.

The Queen, who has a keen interest in racing, then spoke with the couple about the subject.

She then asked Mr Morrison about the drought in Australia, which has been one of her longstanding concerns.

The conversation, which also covered the action being taken to support drought-stricken regional areas, was so involved that the meeting ran for nearly twice the amount of time it had been scheduled to run.

The audience was originally set to be 20 minutes but it stretched close to 35 minutes.

The prime minister also met Prince Charles who had a clearer idea of his journey to the UK.

"You must be dreadfully jet-lagged," the Prince of Wales offered.

Mr Morrison replied: "It's easier this way, it's much harder going home."

Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny were invited to meet the monarch despite the tight schedule of both leaders ahead of the D-Day commemorations.

- With AAP