While the Princess of Wales regularly acquires new handbags — from her recent Chanel quilted mini flap bag to her vintage Hermes Rio envelope clutch — the mom of three is also fiercely loyal to a few fashion favorites. In fact, Kate has been dedicated to her beloved Long Champ nylon tote bags as far back as college and has also owned various Mulberry totes and cosmetic purses for decades.
Still, there’s one bag that Kate never fails to leave at home: her Smythson Panama East West Zip Tote. Carried for overseas travel, commuting to royal engagements and helicopter rides to and from palace grounds — the British beauty frequently brings this reliable and stylish companion on royal duty.
Designed in soft and smooth leather, this sustainably crafted tote has been with Kate on trips to Denmark, Pakistan and multiple London-adjacent engagements. The spacious bag is big enough for a laptop and is made of cross-grain calf leather with a single exterior statement pocket. In addition, the chic carryall has contrasting navy suede lining, gold hardware and a zip closure.
Here are all the times Kate Middleton Secretly Carried her Smythson Bag:
Combining more luxe labels than the princess typically wears — Her Royal Highness visited Eastwood Park Prison in the winter of 2016 wearing a Mulberry Paddington powder blue wool coat paired with a Dolce & Gabbana herringbone skirt. At the engagement in South Gloucestershire, the princess carried her slim suede Mulberry Bayswater clutch, which was designed to mimic the convenience of a classic wallet. Still, Kate was spotted earlier in the day with a large Starbucks coffee and her roomier Smythson tote bag.
For the fall tour of Pakistan in 2019, the princess brought her stylish structured black bag. After a severe thunderstorm forced Will and Kate to land in Islamabad the previous evening, the royal couple instead left Lahore airport the following day. Kate was pictured on the final day of the tour wearing a black and white embroidered kurta by fashion label Élan. At the airport, the princess was photographed carrying her durable and travel-friendly Italian made tote. Earlier in the day, she was pictured sans bag and used the accessory as a carry-on for the trip to the Pakistani capital.
For a scouts event in Glasgow, Scotland — Kate wore a casual chic ensemble comprised of a quilted tech fabric vest in olive by Ganni along with a Really Wild cashmere rolled neck jumper in black. In addition, she donned her coveted combat boots by Chloe. Kate and William took the train to meet with a group of scouts who started an initiative to protect the planet. For the commute to the countryside, Kate carried her favorite ‘book bag’ — her Smythson tote.
On Day 1 of her visit to Denmark the princess stepped out in a Zara red textured double-breasted blazer along with black wide-leg work trousers. While the princess may have carried her Aspinal of London midi mayfair bag in shiny croc for engagements at the University of Copenhagen — earlier in the day she lugged her most utilized and accommodating accessory — her spacious and stylish travel tote. For greeting the British Ambassador to Denmark, Emma Hopkins, Kate carried her smart standby from Smythson.
Clad in a snowy suit from Alexander McQueen for a day in Birmingham to watch the Commonwealth Games, Kate looked professional and polished. Yet, while the future queen opted not to carry a handbag for watching athletes at the aquatics center with daughter Princess Charlotte, she did carry her Smythson for departing the royal helicopter. Furthermore, it appeared Prince William also lugged a large LongChamp Weekender overnight bag for the trip from the palace.
In South Wales the princess was picture perfect in a Zara tweed houndstooth midi skirt paired with a vanilla colored coat and creamy chalk colored turtleneck. For a day visiting local communities and mental health organizations, Kate carried her Mulberry Small Amberley Crossbody bag in black croc. Yet, the princess was spotted later in the day carrying her more roomy Smythson tote.
In a merlot colored trench dress from Karen Millen, the princess was pretty in plum for a Birmingham visit in the spring of 2023. While Kate’s only visible accessories during engagements were her dangling Dina earrings from Sezane as well as a citrine necklace by Daniella Draper, the princess did actually bring a bag for the trip. Kate was spotted boarding the train with her favorite functional day tote.
To take part in Rugby Inclusivity Day, the princess journeyed from London to Hull. Kate made the four hour trek via helicopter and was spotted secretly carrying her Smythson bag after disembarking the chopper.