Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton and Other Famous Women Fond of Handbags

It is not surprising that a handbag should figure so prominently in the film chronicling Margaret Thatcher’s legacy—a sprawling tale brought to the big screen by Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady. This personal carry-all has long been both functional and symbolic. Depending on its style and brand, it can be a statement of status or a pronouncement of folksiness. Hand it off to a hen-pecked husband or a put-upon assistant and it can demean or belittle. A purse can impress and intimidate, bewilder, berate, or amuse. See Mrs. Thatcher and other famous women fond of the handbag.