Why does ‘The Queen’ not have a passport?

by Anshul
a woman smiling with a flower in her hair

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Among many privileges she enjoys, Queen Elizabeth II does not need a British passport to travel. Merriam-Webster defines a Passport as ‘a formal document issued by an authorized official of a country to one of its citizens that is usually necessary for exit from and reentry into the country, that allows the citizen to travel in a foreign country in accordance with visa requirements, and that requests protection for the citizen while abroad‘. So why does the Queen not need one?

The first page of a British passport reads (Emphasis is my own);

‘Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.’

Since the passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it makes it redundant for The Queen have one. This very logic extends to every document that is issued ‘in the name of Her Majesty‘, including a Driver’s License! Since she is legally not required to pay taxes, I assume she does not have a National Insurance number (equivalent of Social security number) either?! So, no passport, no driver’s license, no national insurance number. Basically, The Queen does not need to prove her identity.

Note, that this privilege does not extend to other members of the Royal family and they must all have a valid passport when traveling outside of the UK.

Outside of diplomatic courtesy, I wonder if a foreign government can demand any form of identification from the queen? Then again, don’t think she bothers to check in with an immigration officer upon arrival 😉 . More importantly, she will never know the joy of a new country stamp on a passport, her loss.

Meanwhile, I am a Canadian resident with an Indian passport. Yeah..TGIF folks – cheers!




mogando September 22, 2017 - 2:53 pm

dealing with passport stamps isn’t all the fun when you run out of pages and have to pay the renewal fee …. again

sometimes being part of the royal family isn’t really all fun and games. any citizen can see a deal, grab a cheap fare, and head to the airport within a couple hours. they can go wherever and whenever. the royal family can’t do the same.

when every single public movement is scrutinized by video and every word you utter is read like tea leaves, it really restricts your freedom, to be honest.

Anshul September 22, 2017 - 7:08 pm

Given my Indian passport, I burn thru ~60 pages every 2 years. So agree that its not all fun. But the new country stamp has its own charm!
I just think in todays day and age, if presidents or the world and all kinds of public celebreties need a passport, so should she. The fact that all countries pander to this ‘privelege’ is what surprises me..

Nobody in particular September 22, 2017 - 2:43 pm

Its an old story and has been re-told many times…. then again, if the queen is the embodiment of the sovereignity, why would she need a paper to confirm her nationality?

Anshul September 22, 2017 - 7:05 pm

Agreed – she is technically not a ‘citizen’, she is the soverein and hence does not need a passport. But still, odd in today’s day and age..


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