Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t like the rest of us. Did you know she was not going to be prosecuted? That she had a personal poet who is compensated with Sherry wine? Or that she owned British swans and had the power to fire the whole Australian government? She wielded some of these prerogative powers herself – as well as countless more unique powers, ranging from the surprising to the utterly weird.
Here are some powers of Queen Elizabeth that she could use.
1. Drive a car without a license
The Queen usually traveled with a chauffeur, but she did like driving on occasion. You wouldn’t expect to see her at the DMV, though. She was the only individual in the country without a driver’s license who could drive a car.
2. Attempt to avoid being arrested
Sure, the Queen’s actions had an impact on public opinion and the monarchy’s future, but she didn’t have to worry about being imprisoned. She was immune to prosecution because she was a sovereign.
3. She didn’t use her last name
Queen Elizabeth was given the surname Windsor after her family’s home. When she ascended to the throne, however, she dropped her previous name and assumed the name, Elizabeth Regina. All official documents include the name, which was derived from the Latin word for “queen.” In most circumstances, though, merely Elizabeth R. suffices.
4. Open Parliament in the UK
While many people regarded Queen Elizabeth as a symbolic figurehead in governance, one of her many responsibilities as the head of state was to lead the annual State Opening of Parliament.
5. Without a passport, she could travel overseas
The monarch is not obliged to have a British passport because they are all issued by the Queen herself. She was, however, the only member of the royal family who had been accorded this privilege.
6. She had two birthdays
When you’re the British Prime Minister, one birthday isn’t nearly enough. The Queen’s official birthday fell on a Saturday in June, despite the fact that her actual birthday was April 21. Her real birthday is “celebrated in public with gun salutes in central London at midday.”
7. She owned unclaimed swans from England
That’s right, you read that accurately. All “unmarked mute swans swimming in open waters” technically belonged to the Queen of England. In the 12th century, the ruler claimed ownership of the creatures.
8. She was exempt from paying taxes
Queen Elizabeth was not only the Queen of England but also one of the wealthiest people in the country. She was exempt from paying taxes because she was the sovereign, but she apparently paid taxes on income, assets, and gains that weren’t used for official royal activities.
9. Ignore speed limits
When the queen was being officially escorted, speed rules do not apply. Emergency vehicles are allowed to breach speed limits under the Road Traffic Regulation Act, and the Queen was accorded the same privilege because she was guarded by police personnel.
10. Go Cashless
Only on Sundays does the Queen leave the castle with a few bills in her bag to donate to the church.
11. Have access to unique jewelry
The monarch owns some pieces, while those used for ceremonies and other major events are known as royal jewels. The remainder is held in the royal collection. She did, however, have direct access to any of the components she wished as Queen.
12. Choose from the royal menu
The Queen could eat whatever she liked because she had a large cooking crew. Every two weeks, the Queen was provided with a menu to choose from.
13. Publish royal warrants
Many businesses have received royal warrants over the years, which were approved by the Queen and “appoint a corporation or individual in a trade capacity to the Royal Household.”
14. Announce war
Those regal prerogatives, remember them? The Queen could, according to the particular powers vested in the monarchy, declare war and peace. She could also send troops into a combat zone.
15. Own a personal ATM
Queen Elizabeth had a personal ATM in the basement of Buckingham Palace, so she would never have to deal with the inconvenience of trying to get to the bank before it closed. Only members of the royal family are permitted to use the cash dispenser, which is provided by the British bank Coutts.
16. She Did Not Attend School
Princess Elizabeth had never been to a private or public school and she was not a graduate. Elizabeth’s home tutors continued to provide her with education, nevertheless. Queen Elizabeth was educated at home, as was customary for a princess in those days. Later, as a queen, she used this ability to communicate with other international leaders. She excelled in swimming and studied music and art as well.
17. Choose a prime minister
Even though the queen only retained a limited number of reserved powers (decisions that fall under the “royal prerogative”), they remained significant. Consider her ability to designate the prime minister, who is the chief executive of the United Kingdom. However, she was not free to choose a PM at random. She must abide by the Cabinet Manual, a set of statutory guidelines that stipulates that the sovereign must stay out of party politics.
18. She was a religious leader
The Church of England, which was founded after King Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century, was led by Queen Elizabeth II. She was officially known as the Church of England’s ultimate administrator and defender of the religion, and she had the authority to name Bishops and Archbishops.
Need more trivia about Queen Elizabeth II? Despite her outward silence and restrained demeanour, Queen Elizabeth II led a very active life. Princess Elizabeth had no intention of becoming monarch. She didn’t anticipate having to take on the role of ruler for a very long time, not even after she rose to the position of first in line to the throne.
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