6 weird things only the Queen can do - and 4 big things she can’t

She’s got all sorts of bizarre privileges

The Queen is set to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history on Wednesday.

With 63 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II will overtake Britain’s previous record-holder, Queen Victoria.

But have you ever wondered what sets her apart from the rest of us commoners? Here are 6 things only the Queen can do… and 4 things she can’t.

6 things the Queen can do, that we can’t

1. She can get you off the hook for committing a crime. As Head of State the Queen has the ability to grant a pardon for anyone who is found guilty of a crime against the state.

2. She can get away with not paying tax, as she is not bound by law to do so – though she does so voluntarily.

3. The Queen can technically block new laws, as everything that is passed through parliament goes to Royal Assent. She has never refused to sign anything, primarily because she plays a role in government, holding weekly meetings with the prime minister and other Members of Parliament.

4. She could eat a swan. It’s true that swans are the property of the monarch (a measure that was introduced to protect them from hunters, as at one point they were close to extinction) but that label doesn’t apply to all swans – the queen only owns Mute Swans and even then rights have been given to two companies to own some.

5. She can travel without a passport since she’s the head of the authority that issues them.

6. And she can drive without a driving licence, and apparently really enjoys driving, having learnt in 1945.

4 things the Queen can’t do, that we can

1. There’s only one place in the UK the Queen is not allowed to go and that’s the House of Commons. It’s all about protecting democracy from the tyranny of the monarchy. She’s also not a “commoner” and cannot run for parliament.

2. People often say the Queen can’t vote. She is technically allowed to vote but she doesn’t and there is no record of her having ever done so, as it would be considered highly unconstitutional.

3. She can’t be arrested for or charged with a crime against the state as she is the prosecuting authority in most cases and would therefore be prosecuting herself. However, this has not been tested since, as far as we know, she has never committed a crime.

4. She can’t convert to another religion. As Head of the Church of England, it’s essential the Queen is a Christian of Anglican denomination. However, in reality, if she wanted to covert to another religion or another church, it’s likely the title could be removed and another head be appointed.


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