12 Reasons Queen Elizabeth Is the Ultimate HBIC, Like, Literally (2022)

It's good to be queen! 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth II is Britain's longest-reigning monarch, and the job (OK, the life) comes with some surprising perks. You know, beyond the palaces and the crown jewels and oh,the royal train.Here are some of the most badass things you probably didn't know about the lady sitting comfortably on England's throne.

1. She doesn't need a driver's license to drive in the U.K.

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Queen Elizabeth has been driving since she was 19, when she learned while working in the wartime Auxiliary Territorial Service, People reports. Even today, the nonagenarian can still be seen driving from time-to-time — but she doesn't have a license.

It's an example of Elizabeth exercising her "royal prerogative" — a special exemption from some statute laws. She don't need permission to make her own decisions, it's her prerogative! She has never taken a driving test, and doesn't need to because she doesn't need a license to legally operate a vehicle in the U.K. It's worth noting, of course, that she's typically seen driving around her private estates, not on public roads.

2. Also, the speed limit doesn't apply to her.

Even though Queen Elizabeth tends to stick to drives on her private estates, she could technically go speeding around London and running red lights if she wanted to. Thanks again to the power of royal prerogative, Elizabeth is exempt from excluded regulations and laws governing the road. In other words, if the royal family were ever running late for an engagement, they could put Elizabeth behind the wheel and floor it.

3. She doesn't need a passport to travel.

Queen Elizabeth's royal perks don't only exist in Britain. Here's one that travels with her all over the world: She doesn't need a passport. It's not just because she's recognizable all around the world. Because passports in the U.K. are issued by the Queen, it would be, you know, obvious.

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"As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one," according to royal.gov.uk. "All other members of the Royal Family, including The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, have passports."

4. She doesn't have to pay taxes.

Another amazing privilege that comes with being queen is that Elizabeth isn't legally required to pay taxes. However, she has voluntarily been paying income and capital gains taxes since 1992.

5. She owns all the dolphins in England.

The Queen is known for her love of corgis, but her rule over the wildlife of England goes so beyond her iconic pack of adorable pets. Thanks to a a rule from way back in the 1300s, she technically owns all the "fishes royal" (so whales, dolphins, sturgeons, and porpoises) in the waters around the U.K., according to TIME.

"This statute is still valid today, and sturgeons, porpoises, whales, and dolphins are recognized as 'fishes royal'... when they are captured within 3 miles of U.K. shores or wash ashore, they may be claimed on behalf of the Crown,” TIME reports. “Generally, when brought into port, a sturgeon is sold in the usual way, and the purchaser, as a gesture of loyalty, requests the honor of its being accepted by Elizabeth."

6. She also owns a bunch of swans.

In addition to dominion over the royal fishes of the waters around the U.K., Queen Elizabeth also co-owns every swan in the River Thames. The lucky co-owners of the queen's enormous flock of swans? The Worshipful Company of Vintners and the Worshipful Company of Dyers.

And this isn't just some ceremonial thing. The royal family is actually actively involved in British swan life—so much so that there is an official Keeper of the Swans, a position that has existed for 700 years. There's even an annual "Swan Upping," a yearly swan census.

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"Swan Upping plays an important role in the conservation of the mute swan and involves The Queen’s Swan Warden collecting data, assessing the health of young cygnets and examining them for any injuries," the royal family's official website explains. "Cygnets are extremely vulnerable at this early stage in their development and Swan Upping affords an opportunity to help both adults and cygnets that might otherwise go untreated."

7. She has a personal poet.

Queen Elizabeth's massive extended entourage includes an official, personal poet. It's technically an honorary position, but it's actually a pretty big deal — the British poet laureate is expected to write poems commemorating significant occasions.

The monarch appoints the position, and in 2009, Elizabeth named the first female poet laureate in the 400 years the job has been around — Carol Ann Duffy, who will hold the position until 2019.

Back when the role was created, the poet laureate was paid £200 a year and a cask of canary wine. These days, the poet is paid in a barrel of Sherry.

8. She's a Bond girl.

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In 2012, when London hosted the Olympics, Queen Elizabeth became an honorary Bond girl when she participated in a stunt with current James Bond Daniel Craig to kick off the opening ceremony. Together, they skydived into the Olympic Stadium. OK, so Elizabeth did use a stunt double for the skydiving portion, but she still agreed to the sketch, proving she is a total badass.

9. She was one of the first people to use the Internet.

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On March 26, 1976, Queen Elizabeth visited a a telecommunications research center in Malvern, England to commemorate the arrival of ARPANET, the computer network that eventually morphed into the internet. There, she became the first monarch to send an email, under the username "HME2" (for Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, obviously).

"All she had to do was press a couple of buttons, and her message was sent," Peter Kirstein, the man who set up her email account, told Wired in 2012.

10. She has her own ATM.

The queen doesn't have to wait in line at a bank if she needs some cash. In fact, she doesn't even have to leave the house. Buckingham Palace has its own ATM in the basement, just for the royal family's use.

11. She can't be arrested.

The queen enjoys Sovereign Immunity, which means she can't be prosecuted. While this immunity extends to other British heads of state during their time in office, the queen is protected for life (since that's how long she holds her position).

So what would happen if the queen were caught red-handed committing a crime? Prosecutors could go after the Crown as Executive, but then the Queen's ministers would act on her behalf — and accept any punishment that was doled out.

12. And she gets two birthdays.

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You know that special feeling you get when it's your birthday and everyone is celebrating you? The queen gets that feeling twice a year (slash every single day, I guess, because she's the queen). Yep, she has two birthdays. Birthday No. 1 is her actual, welcome-to-the-world birthday, on April 21. Birthday No. 2 (her "official" royal birthday) is celebrated on the second Saturday in June, marked by the Trooping the Colour parade.

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The tradition dates back to 1748 with King George II. George wanted to have a big public celebration of his birthday, but unfortunately, his real birthday was in November — which isn't exactly peak parade season in England. To solve this problem, George declared a second official birthday for himself in June and had his parade then. The tradition of monarchs having a second, summer birthday with a parade stuck.

Kayleigh RobertsContributorKayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen.

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