Here are the bizarre powers you never knew the Queen had
The Queen. Her Majesty. Big Lizzie. Whatever you call her, you know her. She's ruled over the murky grey land of the UK since 1952 and shows no signs of slowing down. But, while she may seem like a sweet old lady who loves a pastel outfit from the outside, it turns out the Queen has a lot of power over a lot of weird things. Whether it's her ability to fire governments or steal animals, the Queen isn't a woman to be messed with.
In light of the long reign of Lizzie, let's take a look at some of the more bizarre things that she has power over. Check it out below.
Right, let's set the record straight - swans are horrible things, aren't they? They swan about thinking they're top dogs and attack you if you come anywhere near them. But, while they act like they can't be controlled, it turns out that if they live in the Thames, they're owned by the Queen. Every year, the Queen sends a few of "Swan Uppers" up the Thames for the annual "Swan Upping." This tradition is essentially the Queen flexing about the number of swans she has while also checking in on their health.
If you're a dolphin swimming around three miles away from the UK - you are now owned by Her Majesty. According to a statue set up by King Edward II in 1324, the Royals can lay ownership to any sturgeons, whales and dolphins captured within 3 miles. The law is still observed today. As the old song goes, "Royal Britannia, Britannia rules the waves."
3. She doesn't need a driver's licence
Whoever created this law clearly couldn't drive. While the Queen may issue driving licenses, it turns out that she is the only person in the UK who doesn't legally need a license to drive her car. Not to worry, though, as Lizzie is more than capable behind the wheel, having learnt to drive during WWII, and is also able to change a spark plug. What a woman.
4. She also doesn't need a passport
Passports are issued in the Queen's name, so she doesn't need one. Despite this, she has travelled all over the globe. Could you imagine the furore if someone stopped her at customs?
5. She has two birthdays
Okay, I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous. It is not biologically possible to have two birthdays, right? WRONG. The Queen's birthday is celebrated twice a year - once on a Saturday in June (bit vague, Liz?) and also on her actual birthday on April 21. Her actual birthday is celebrated by firing a load of guns into the air, while the other tends to be celebrated through a parade at Buckingham Palace. She's a low-key woman, isn't she?
6. She has her own cash machine
In the basement of Buckingham Palace lies an ATM exclusively used by the Queen. Quite why she needs a cash machine, I'm not too sure. Who knows, maybe she tips her staff every now and then? Or, she often gets caught short needing a tenner for when she sends Phillip down the road to get the beers in.
7. She has a personal poet
Remember when you were 15 and you wrote love poems to your crush? Good times, man. Luckily for Lizzie, she has her own personal poet to write love notes to/for her. Whether she needs an ego boost or simply wants to describe her love for Phillip in a beautiful bit of literature, the poet laureate - Carol Ann Duffy - is on hand to help her out. And, what does Duffy receive as payment for this duty? A barrel of Sherry, of course.
8. She signs laws
No law in the UK can be passed without going through Royal Assent. Once the law has passed houses of Parliament, it heads to the palace for the Queen to sign it off. The last time it was refused was by Queen Anne, back in 1708.
9. She doesn't have to pay tax
The Queen doesn't have to pay tax, but, being the good woman that she is, she has voluntarily been paying income tax and capital gains tax since 1992. If only it was the same for everyone, hey?
10. She is exempt from Freedom of Information requests
All information regarding the royal family is exempt from Freedom of Information requests. This comes after a battle between The Guardian and the government to have letters by Prince Charles to government ministers made public. The letters were released, leading to a change meaning it can't happen in the future. Who knows what skeletons she's got in the closet?
11. She can fire the Australian government
It may be on the other side of the world, but the Queen is the head of state in Australia and therefore has the power to fire the entire government.
12. She cannot be prosecuted
Yep, the Queen is above the law. As all prosecutions are carried out in the name of the sovereign, she is immune from prosecution and cannot give evidence in court. In other words, don't get on her wrong side.
So there you have it, Lizzie isn't so sweet after all. Don't let those cute outfits and funny little waves trick you into thinking otherwise.