Have you seen Queen Elizabeth‘s hands lately? Neither have we. The British monarch always wears gloves when she’s out and about, and now we’re learning why, thanks to commentary from royal experts.

Apparently, the primary reason is fashion. “The Queen wears a hat and carries a handbag on engagements, and gloves are essential to complement them,” expert Richard Fitzwilliams told the Daily Express. “They are part of her style, the ‘look’ we have associated her with, which is formal.”

But the gloves serve another important function: They keep the 92-year-old healthy. “Given the need to shake hands so often, they are useful as protection and to stop the spread of infections,” Fitzwilliams added.

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Meanwhile, fellow royal expert James Brookes dished on the particulars of the Queen’s favorite gloves. “They’ve been made by Cornelia James Ltd since 1947, and the company got their royal warrant for their work in 1970,” he told the newspaper. “Fabric-wise, they’re made from brushed cotton, so rather soft, but the company [has] said they’ve gone for a slightly lighter fabric more recently — something I’m sure will be appreciated when the weather is very warm, like it was at the Derby this weekend!”

(Indeed, as Elizabeth made a token appearance at the Epsom Derby in Surrey, England, on June 3, temperatures rose to 23° C, which Express describes as “sizzling.” Granted, that’s only 73° F, but Elizabeth was still moved to take off her coat, revealing a “mesmerizing” floral dress beneath.)

Genevieve James, creative director at Cornelia James, also told Reader’s Digest the Queen favors gloves from the company’s Francesca and Regina collections… and gets the length of the gloves customized. “When you’re the queen and you’re shaking hands, you don’t really want to show your arms,” she said. “The glove goes a bit under her [sleeve], so you don’t actually see any arm.”

Plus, with all that handshaking and all those royal engagements, Elizabeth probably travels prepared. “It’s likely the Queen carries a spare pair or two in her handbags so they can be discreetly changed if they become a bit too dirty throughout the day,” Brookes speculated.

Who knew there was so much to learn about Elizabeth’s accessories! Now, while we place an order with Cornelia James, you can join our Facebook group for the latest updates on Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, and all things royal!