Queen Elizabeth II has travelled far and wide as part of her royal duties – she’s the best travelled head of state the world has ever known. From Canada to Kenya there are few places the monarch hasn’t visited. But what may surprise you is Her Majesty never carries a passport with her when she travels. Why? Because she doesn’t actually need one.
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Other royals including the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles hold a passport, but the Queen is exempt from carrying the legal document.
The reason being is she is the one who issues Britons with passports.
On the first page of all British passports it reads: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”
While the Queen still carries out royal engagements, she only attends UK-based events these days.
The monarch hasn’t carried out a royal engagement outside the UK since 2015, which is when she made overseas visits to Malta and Germany.
Instead, her sons and grandsons Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry make the trips overseas.
For example, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last travelled to Cyprus in December last year to meet with members of the 11 Squadron at RAF Akrotiri.
Traveling without a passport isn’t the only law the Queen is exempt from.
Her Majesty also doesn’t require a driving licence – she is the only person in the UK who can drive without one.
She’s also never needed to take a driving test and is even allowed to drive without a number plate on her state car.
As with a passport, the reason the Queen doesn’t need a driving licence is because driving licenses are issued in her name.
Alongside these privileges, Her Majesty also celebrates two birthdays – while her actual birthday is on April 21, the Queen’s official birthday is celebrated in June
She also owns all the swans in the River Thames, no bill can be passed to form a law without her consent, and she has the power to appoint Lords and Knights.
The Queen and her family have also been spared from all Freedom of Information requests and she’s immune from prosecution.
While Her Majesty doesn’t have to worry about any changes with passports when Brexit happens, the rest of Britons need to consider renewing their travel document as soon as possible if it’s about to expire.