The Real Reason The Queen Doesn't Need A License Plate To Drive Her Car

Unlike nearly every other head of state in the world, the United Kingdom's Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, is often seen driving a vehicle. You will almost certainly never see Joe Biden or Justin Trudeau behind the wheel of a car, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it's dangerous, and that people who have been highly trained are around to do it for them.

Her Majesty, on the other hand, does things differently. For example, her family owns multiple large country estates with plenty of room to drive around, so safety isn't as much of a concern as long as she stays on the grounds of wherever she is (and of course, she's still surrounded by her security team when she drives). Further, the Queen was, in her younger days, a mechanic, according to Time, and is known to have a fondness for vehicles.

However, when she drives, the monarch is free to drive about without two things that are required of pretty much every driver in the world: Queen Elizabeth can drive a car with neither a license plate ("registration plate" or "number plate," as they're sometimes called in the UK) nor a driver's license.

Here's why Queen Elizabeth can drive without those things.

She can't give permission to herself

Although the United Kingdom's monarch hasn't had any real political power for a couple of centuries, as a figurehead the Crown's reach extends to just about every aspect of daily life for Britons. For example, though she has no actual power or authority over Parliament, the legislative body acts at the Queen's directive, albeit ceremonially so, according to History.

The same is true for vehicle-related matters in the country. According to Hello! Magazine, all license plates and driver's licenses in the UK are issued in the monarch's name. And since tradition holds that monarchs can't grant permission to themselves to drive, or issue themselves a license plate, the Queen can drive around as she pleases without meeting the requirements put to every other British driver. This is one of the many privileges afforded to the monarch that the British refer to as the "royal prerogative" — powers and rights that only the monarch possesses.

This is also why the Queen doesn't need a passport, according to The Independent, and why she can't be arrested and tried for a crime, according to Wales Online.