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Powers of Queen Elizabeth II

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Powers of Queen Elizabeth II

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Since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has seen a changing world as the world’s longest reigning queen.

She has led the Commonwealth for 66 years.

Although you may only see her contributing to charities and wearing bright clothes, the United Kingdom’s reigning queen has significant political influence.

Her Majesty is exempt from prosecution. And she has the power to dismiss the whole Australian government.

The British government acts solely on her authority when it declares war, controls the civil service, or makes treaties.

While many of the Queen’s powers are seldom utilized, they are nevertheless essential, according to Royal News: “they remain a means of protecting democracy in the country ensuring that no one can simply seize power.”

Here are some examples of what the Queen can do:

She is above the law

It is stated in UK law that the Queen cannot be prosecuted, and because she is, in principle, the law, she cannot violate it.

However, the Queen is unlikely to ever have the motivation – or the chance – to commit a crime.

“Although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Sovereign as a person under UK law, The Queen is careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law,” according to the official Royal website.

Legitimize legislation

Although Parliament has the authority to create laws, a proposed bill must first be approved by the Queen before it can become law. She must grant what is known as “royal assent,” which implies she must approve (or not!) the new legislation.

The Queen is allowed to drive without a driver’s license.

According to Time, driving permits are given in the Queen’s name, and she is the only person in the United Kingdom who does not need a license or a number plate on her vehicles.

She is the owner of all swans in the River Thames.

According to the Royal Family’s official website, the Queen owns all unmarked swans in open water, although she only “exercises her ownership” on “certain stretches of the Thames and its surrounding tributaries.”

This practice is still carried out today at the yearly “Swan Upping,” in which swans in the River Thames are captured, ringed, and released as part of a swan population census.

She is not need to have a passport to travel.

The Royal Arms are imprinted on the front of all UK passports, so the Sovereign doesn’t need to carry one while traveling overseas.

Her website reads: “As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one. All other members of the Royal Family, including The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, have passports.”

Pardon criminals

Queen Elizabeth II has the power to give “royal pardon” to anybody guilty of a crime if she deems appropriate.

The original aim of a “royal pardon” was to grant an exemption from the death sentence, which has since been abolished.

She even has her own cash machine.

A special cash machine for the royal family is placed in the basement of Buckingham Palace, which is less of a “power” and more of a benefit of the job. Coutts, one of Britain’s most renowned — and elite — banks, provides it.

The Queen has a poet of her own.

According to the British Monarchy’s official website, the poet laureate is an honorary post in British culture bestowed by the Monarch to a poet “whose work is of national significance.” When the position was originally created, the appointee received £200 per year and a bottle of canary wine. A barrel of Sherry is presented to the poet laureate today.

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