Being part of the Royal family comes with its risks; however, it also has its advantages: Tiaras. Castles. Two birthday celebrations. (well, in the case of The Queen, at the very least). According to Insider, you could violate plenty of laws just because you’re a royal.
Her Majesty is the only royal who can do anything she likes. However, all royals have legal privileges, too. For instance, what are the benefits? The royal family members are exempt from taxation in certain circumstances. Prince Charles is a recipient of his estate of the Duchy of Cornwall and is exempt from taxation; however, Prince Charles “voluntarily is required to pay income tax on every penny of the estate,” as per his official website. The Queen isn’t legally obliged to pay taxes; However, “she can make voluntary payments on assets, income, and gains that aren’t used to fulfill official duties,” as per Business Insider.
The royal family members are also not required to be a part of jury duty. They don’t even have to follow any speed limits (but only when being driven by police officers on the official assignments of the royal family). They also don’t have to use their legal last names, even though they technically have one–Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Queen is, in her way, essentially allowed to violate any law. She “can’t be detained or become involved in civil or criminal proceedings, so she’s effectively free from the law,” Insider reports. “The Queen has sovereign immunity, which means she’s not subject to criminal or civil investigation prosecution. The Queen can be on the run for committing a crime, and there’s not anything anyone can do about this.” (This is, naturally, will be the case for Prince Charles in the future of his reign and for Prince William following his.) But the official website makes it clear that “although criminal and civil legal proceedings aren’t able to be pursued against the sovereign as an individual under U.K. law, the Queen makes sure that her actions in her private capacity are conducted according to the laws.” We’re happy to clear the air.
Her Majesty was an avid traveler all over the world. However, she doesn’t need to have a passport to travel. “Every passport issued in the United Kingdom is issued with the Queen’s name,” Insider reports. “As consequently, she doesn’t require her passport for travel.” But every other member of the royal family, including her heir Prince of Wales. Prince of Wales has their passports.
The Queen is not required to possess an official driver’s license. Even though she was 18 when Her Majesty was a mechanic and driver in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, she’s “never had to undergo an actual driving test, and can also drive with no number plate,” says Insider.
And perhaps most surprisingly, “while regular grandparents have to make an application to the courts when they seek custody of their children, the Queen has the legal right to all her children and children,” according to the news outlet. “This old rule of 300 years may be odd, but even though it’s unlikely that the Queen will ever remove her children from their parents in real life, the law is legally in force.”
Insider reports that the monarchy can be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, which allows “the royal family to enjoy greater privacy in their day-to-day tasks and finances,” Insider reports. “For example, members of the general public members of the United Kingdom are prevented from having access to the full details of how the royal family spends public funds and how much the monarchy has tried to influence policies of the government.”
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