7 things the Queen has the power to do still – including declare war
Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most famous people in the world.
She has been the UK's Head of State since 1952 at the age of 25, immediately taking the throne after her father's death.
This year will mark her Platinum Jubilee – a 70-year-long reign which includes several defining moments of British history.
She has seen 14 Prime Ministers serve under her and been a constant symbol of stability under many international conflicts.
During her time on the throne the world has drastically changed, including the powers she actually has.
We may think the Queen doesn't have any signifiant power, as this gos to the government and Prime Minister instead.
However, there are several shocking things still within her power – including being able to declare war. Here are some of the things she has the power to do to this day.
The Queen is the only person in the UK with the power to declare war on other countries.
However, her power is not absolute. The government and Prime Minister would also have to permit it.
The ability also only applies in cases of "all-out warfare", and Queen Elizabeth II has never done so throughout her reign.
The last monarch to do so was her father King George VI, who declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939.
Form a new government
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Until 2011, the Queen could dissolve Parliament and call for a new general election.
However, now a two-thirds vote in the commons is required to do this if it's before a five-year fixed-term is finished.
During a general election she will usually appoint the MP with the majority support of voters and the House of Commons.
But if the PM resigns, the Queen will consult her advisors on who would succeed them. No bill can be passed to form a new law without her consent
The Queen's consent is necessary to turn any bill into law.
Once a proposed law has passed both Houses of Parliament, it makes its way to Buckingham Palace for approval. This is called the Royal Assent.
Can appoint Lords and Knights
The Queen still has the power to appoint Lords, who can sit in Parliament.
But like many powers, this is only exercised “on the advice of” elected government ministers.
The Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, can make someone a Knight to honour someone who has held public office and contributed to the national life, or the sovereign personally.
The Queen doesn't need a passport to travel
According to British law, the Queen doesn't need a passport to travel because they are issued in her name.
The first page of all British passports read: “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."
The Queen can drive without a licence
This is the same reason the Queen can drive without a licence, or even a number plate.
As part of discretionary powers or rights that only the sovereign enjoys, she is excluded form the regulations and laws governing the road.
Her Majesty learned how to drive as a teenager during World War 2, when she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary second subaltern.
She is exempt from prosecution
The Queen is immune from prosecution, and can't be compelled to give evidence in court.
On the Royal website, it explains: "Although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken 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."
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