Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is the oldest ruling monarch in the world.
Queen Elizabeth’s powers in Britain may be ceremonial but it does not end there. She has in her authority several powers we never thought were possible.
The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth states. As the ceremonial head of the British empire, she formally approves all government legislation.
Aside her political and traditional duties, she is also the Supreme Governor of the established Church of England. Just like she has the power to form governments; likewise, without exaggeration the Queen can fire the entire Australian government. Can you beat that? She equally employs all government staff in New Zealand.
We are made to believe that no one is above the law but Her majesty seems to be in a class of her own. Queen Elizabeth II is immune to prosecution.
Below are some other powers at Queen Elizabeth II’s disposal:
1. Head of Commonwealth Countries/Former British Colonies
Though ceremonial, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of these countries:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
- Solomon Islanda
2. Immune To Prosecution
Elizabeth II is literally above the law in the sense that if she cannot be summoned to court or prosecuted. It s assumed that as sovereignty her actions are thoughtful enough not be criminal or suspicious.
According to official site of the Monarchy
“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.”
However there has been a case in history when a British King was abdicated and executed for treason. Thus the immunity could still be challenged when necessary. It appears the Queen has not given the court any cause to worry so far.
3. She Is The Head Of The Church Of England
Before now the Queen is addressed as the defender of the faith and supreme governor of the Church of England. She has the power to appoint Bishops and Archbishops.
Did you know that if the logical successor of the Queen’s throne is not a member of the church, he/she would not be eligible to take up the mantle of leadership?
4. She Appoints Lords And Ordains Knights
The Ministers present her with a list of persons for approval. She then appoints them and personally invests her knights.
5. Has The Power To Fire The Entire Australian Government
Represented by the Gov. Gen. Sir John Kerr in 1975, the Australian Prime Minister was fired in line with the government shutdown. Later the entire parliament was dismissed as well.
Australia organized another election to fill up the positions.
The Queen signs bills to law and exercises veto power when necessary.
6. She Owns All Swans on River Thames
River Thames is a significant river in Britain. As a matter of British tradition, all swans found there in belongs to her. Symbolizing her ownership, swans from River Thames are caught, ringed, and set free again as part of census of the swan population.
This is usually done during the annual Swan Upping.
According to the Royal Family website,
“The swans are also given a health check and ringed with individual identification numbers by The Queen’s Swan Warden, a Professor of Ornithology at the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology.”
7. Needs No Driving License
Different strokes for different folks. While people like you and I get sanctioned for not having a driving license, the Queen does not need one to drive around town.
8. Has Power Over Aquatic Animals In Britain
The Queen still technically owns all the sturgeons, whales, and dolphins in the waters around the UK, in a rule that dates back to a statute from 1324
9. No passport
Recall that she is probably the most traveled royalty in history. Interestingly the Queen does not need a passport for her numerous travels.
10. The Queen Does Not Pay Tax But she has been paying it since 1992
11. Private Cash Machine
What level of prominence is enough to guarantee anyone a private cash machine? Well just become the British queen. The Royal family has a cash machine installed in the basement of Buckingham Palace. The machine is courtesy of one of UK’s most renowned banks, Coutts.