Unless you’re the Queen of England, preparing for international travel almost always involves a last-minute scramble to locate one’s passport.
That’s right, when Her Majesty the Queen travels abroad, she doesn’t need commonplace items like passports. According to the British monarchy’s official website:
The Queen does not require a British passport when travelling abroad. The Royal Arms appear on the cover of a British passport, and the first page includes another representation of the Arms, along with the following text:
In the name of Her Majesty, the Secretary of State requests and requires all those who it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without hindrance and to provide the bearer with whatever assistance and protection are required.
Because a British passport is issued in Her Majesty’s name, the Queen does not require one. The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, as well as the rest of the Royal Family, have passports.
A similar formula is used in realms (Commonwealth countries where The Queen is Sovereign), except that the request is made in the name of the realm’s Governor-General, as The Queen’s representative in that realm. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada makes the request on behalf of Her Majesty.
Queen Elizabeth is exempt from a number of laws, including the requirement to travel without a passport. According to TIME, the Queen does not require a licence to legally drive because all British licences are issued in her name.
She also does not require a licence plate on her vehicles. The Queen is also immune from prosecution, though we’ll probably never have to worry about that.
“Although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be brought 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 Monarchy’s official website.