11 Utterly Bizarre Powers And Privileges Queen Elizabeth II Enjoys

While her role is largely ceremonial, the Queen still wields some powers.

Cover image via The Wall Street Journal

First things first, the Queen gets to celebrate two birthdays!

The Queen's official birthday is celebrated on a Saturday in June, although her actual birthday is on 21 April. Both birthdays are celebrated in suitable style, too.

Image via Daily Times

She has her own private cash machine

Installed in the basement of Buckingham Palace for the royal family's personal use, it's provided by Coutts, one of Britain's most prestigious and exclusive banks.

Unlike us, the Queen needs no license to drive

While driving licenses are issued in the Queen's name, she is the only person in the UK who doesn't legally need a license to drive or a number plate on her cars.

As if that's wasn't enough, she needs no passport either

While it's not clear what the Queen uses for travel documents, considering she has been abroad many times, she doesn't require a passport.

She owns all swans (a total of 88) in the River Thames

According to TIME, the Queen in 2005 claimed ownership of 88 young swans on the River Thames. Since then, they are looked after by a swan marker.

And she owns all the dolphins and whales in British waters

Recognised as "fishes royal", whales and dolphins, when they are captured within 3 miles of U.K. shores or wash ashore, may be claimed on behalf of the Crown.

The Queen doesn't have to pay taxes

However, she has been voluntarily paying income tax and capital gains tax since 1992.

She is exempt from Freedom Of Information requests

All information about the royal family is exempt from Freedom of Information requests.

And she's also immune from prosecution

All prosecutions are carried out in the name of the Sovereign, and she is both immune from prosecution and cannot be compelled to give evidence in court.

Because, in theory, the Sovereign "is incapable of thinking or doing wrong."

Image via Newsweek

The Queen has the power to form governments...

While a two-thirds vote in the Commons is required to dissolve the UK Parliament before a five-year term is up, the Queen does still play a part after an election, when she calls on the Member of Parliament who is most able to form a government to do so.

And the ability to fire the entire Australian government!

Apart from being the Head of State of the UK, she is also the Head of State in Australia, and as such, the Queen has certain powers over the government there.

In 1975, for example, the Queen's representative in the country at the time, Governor General Sir John Kerr, fired the Prime Minister in response to a government shutdown.

What do you think about these powers and privileges enjoyed by the Queen? Comment to let us know.

Other related stories on SAYS:

You may be interested in: