The Queen's Handbag is the title given to a three-minute filmed Harry Potter skit produced for Children's Party at the Palace, a production mounted in 2006 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
Throughout Children's Party at the Palace, an ongoing storyline involved various characters trying to find the Queen's missing handbag.
The Harry Potter segment begins with an owl delivering a letter to the Gryffindor Common Room at Hogwarts. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley enter in the midst of Hermione complaining about an (unheard) joke not making sense. Spying the owl and its letter, they open the correspondence.
Although Ron thinks the letter comes from the Minister for Magic, Hermione realises it actually comes from the Muggle Prime Minister. Addressed to "whomever it may concern - as long as they can use magic", the letter reports on the Queen's handbag being stolen. Ron jokes that "Voldemort's getting really inventive."
The letter stresses the urgency of retrieving the handbag as it contains Her Majesty's reading glasses which she needs in order to read her speech at her 80th birthday celebration. Harry remarks that Peeves was using the birthday as an excuse to drop coloured eggs on people at breakfast.Harry suggests Veritaserum could be used to make the thieves confess, but Hermione points out they do not know who the thief is yet. Harry unsuccessfully tries the Summoning Charm to conjure up the lost handbag. Unable to do it by himself, Ron joins him and together they perform the charm again -- only to have a pile of different lost handbags appear on the table. Thinking one of them must be the Queen's, the trio begins searching through the bags.
Neville Longbottom arrives and spots his grandmother's handbag among the litter (Ron asks him if his gran happens to be the Queen). Hermione says none of the bags is the Queen's because they are too far away from Buckingham Palace for the Accio charm to work. Ron sticks his hand in Neville's Gran's bag and gets a mousetrap on his fingers as a result.
Hermione gets an idea and grabs a quill and parchment. She writes a letter which provides the Palace with a temporary transference of magical power (presumably so they can use the Accio charm themselves).
They send the owl back to Buckingham Palace with Hermione's letter. (The Queen subsequently gets her handbag back.)
- Harry Potter - Daniel Radcliffe
- Hermione Granger - Emma Watson
- Ron Weasley - Rupert Grint
- Neville Longbottom - Matthew Lewis
- Although the owl that arrives looks like Hedwig, the owl is identified as Brodwin, a live owl part of the skit at the Palace.
- Peeves is mentioned. This is (to date) the only reference to the character on film as he has been omitted from all of the movies.
- The Summoning Charm causes the handbags to materialise out of thin air (rather than flying towards the caster as usual). Hermione says they are too far from Buckingham Palace for the charm to work (suggesting it has a range limit).
- Neville says his grandmother once found a fanged gerbil in her handbag in 1947 as a result of a practical joke by his grandfather.
- The ability to assign temporary magic power to Buckingham Palace via a letter is where this skit diverges the most from continuity, as it is an ability not referenced in any book or film, and in either continuity would violate Ministry of Magic rules.
- Assuming this mini-adventure is in any way canonical, it is difficult to place it in the current timeline. For one thing, the eightieth birthday celebrations occurred in 2006, more than a decade after the events featured in the then-current Potter films (unless in the Harry Potter universe, the Queen turned eighty in the 1990s).
- If one were to place it on the Harry Potter universe timeline, it would probably take place during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because when they discover it is from "the Minister", Ron says "Let me, I've been practising my Conflagaration Spell" and "What has he done for us?". This implies that they are upset with the Ministry of Magic and/or Minister Fudge, who maintained throughout this time that Voldemort has not returned.
- The scenes in which you can see the owl flying to Hogwarts and the scenes in which the owl leaves Hogwarts are from the original Harry Potter movies.
- The castle which is shown is the one used in the first film, as it changes shape in the second (Training Grounds Tower) and the third. This is very inconsistent as the last time the castle was like this was in Chamber of Secrets, but this was filmed at the time of Order of the Phoenix.
- This is also the first time Ron says Voldemort's name.
- Ron was probably telling a joke about a hag because when they enter Hermione could be heard saying "But I don't get it! Hags aren't vegetarian."
- Hermione Granger: [Reading letter] "To whomever it may concern, as long as they can use magic...
- Ronald Weasley: He sounds a bit desperate.
- Harry Potter: Yeah, he's not being very choosy, is he?
- Hermione Granger: [Reading letter] "A terrible crime has befallen the country. Our Majesty, the Queen's handbag has been stolen!"
- Ronald Weasley: Voldemort's getting really inventive!
- Harry Potter: Oh, I don't know. I can't really see Voldemort with a handbag myself.
- Harry: I know they use Veritaserum to make thieves at the Ministry confess.
- Hermione: But we don't know who the thief is.
- Harry: Oh yeah, good point.
- Hermione Granger: No, there must be another way. It can't be that difficult.
- [Harry gets up and points his wand at an empty table.]
- Harry Potter: Accio Lost Handbag!
- [Nothing happens. Ron joins Harry.]
- Both: Accio Lost Handbag!
- [Many handbags appear on the table.]
- Harry Potter: It's bound to be one of these!
- [They search the handbags. Neville Longbottom comes downstairs.]
- Neville Longbottom: What are you doing with my Gran's handbag?!
- Ron Weasley: Hey, Neville. Your Gran isn't the queen, is she?
- Neville Longbottom: What?
- [Ron picks up Augusta Longbottom's handbag and reaches in.]
- Neville Longbottom: Eh, I wouldn't put my hand in there, Ron!
- [Ron gasps with pain and withdraws his hand. His middle finger is trapped in a mousetrap.]
- Harry Potter: Who keeps a mousetrap in a handbag?!
- Neville Longbottom: My gran. Ever since she put her hand in a bag back in 1947 and found a fanged gerbil in there. My grandpa thought she'd find it funny.
- Hermione Granger: I've got an idea.
- Ron Weasley: Brilliant. Could you hurry? I'm losing the blood circulation in my finger.
- Harry Potter: [Giving letter to owl] Off you go. Buckingham Palace. Can't miss it. Big white place with a flag on top.
- When Ron and Harry unsuccessfully try to summon the handbag using the Summoning Charm, Hermione remarks that they are too far from Buckingham Palace, even though there's no way for her to know that the handbag is actually at the palace (especially since the letter states that it has been stolen).
- As noted above, it is an anachronism for Potter and his friends to be discussing the Queen's 80th birthday, given the mid-1990s time frame of the books and movies (unless the in-universe Queen is older than the real one).
- Ron says 'Voldemort' without any difficulty or fear, instead of "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" as he normally says.
DVD and other releases
- The Queen's Handbag is widely available online, but to date has never been released to DVD.