Erm - what?!
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
There are many obvious perks to being royalty – wearing exquisite designer outfits, living in a gigantic palace, having someone break in your new shoes for you (seriously) to name but a few.
And then there’s the small detail of how much they royal family actually get in allowances (you won’t want to look after the bank holiday weekend).
But what privileges does the Queen get for being head of the royal family? Well it turns out there are quite a few strange and unexpected perks to being the ruling monarch. Take a look at the best of them below.
The Queen drives without a licence
The Queen learned to drive during World War II after operating a first-aid truck for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, but she is the only person in the UK who is allowed to zoom around on British roads without a licence. Or number plate, for that matter.
The Queen travels without a passport
Liz is exempt from that shocking and sudden pre-holiday panic that her passport isn’t in date. The royal is allowed to travel without one, seeing as they’re issued in her own name.
Queen Elizabeth doesn’t have to pay tax
She’s not expected to pay any tax, but the Queen started voluntarily contributing in 1992.
The Queen has her own poet
The honorary position of poet laureate is expected to write material for significant national occasions and is welcomed as a member of the royal household. William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson and Ted Hughes have previously held the position, and Carol Ann Duffy has been in the role since 2009.
Queen Elizabeth heads an entire religion
King Henry VIII famously countered the Catholic church by creating the Church of England, and now the Queen – as the ruling monarch – heads the religion. She’s not allowed to convert to any other church or religion.
The Queen has a cash point in her house
Possibly the handiest perk ever, the Queen never has to wait in queue at the ATM or face that dreaded ‘out of service’ sign when trying to withdraw cash in the middle of nowhere. Why? There’s a cash machine in the basement of Buckingham Palace courtesy of Coutts, meaning the Queen can access cash whenever she needs.
The Queen owns a lot of British wildlife
Liz owns every swan in the River Thames (can’t say we’ve ever actually seen many in there) and the rest of the UK, as well as all dolphins, sturgeons and whales in British waters. Pretty diverse gang of animals when you include her posse of corgis, too.
Queen Elizabeth can never be arrested
It would be very hard to arrest the queen considering that she’s immune from prosecution. All of the royals are also exempt from Freedom of Information requests.
The Queen gets two birthdays
It’s well known that Queen Elizabeth celebrates her official birthday on April 21st, and then has a second date in June. But why? It all started in 1748 by George II who’s official birthday was in November. However, he gave himself another summer date in order to get around the unpredictability of the British weather and ensure that he could have a celebratory parade when it wasn’t cold or wet. Smart, really.