With Parliament in place, some may think that the queen doesn’t have much power over British people any more. But, it’s quite the opposite. In addition to having the final say (or, signature) on all potential laws, the queen has additional powers that prove just how powerful she really is.
That said, many of these powers come from archaic laws that are bizarre, to say the least. From her power to steal children from parents to having the ability to fire the entire Australian government, we share all of the ways the queen has power over her people, ahead.
1. She can’t be sued or prosecuted
When it comes to the rules, the queen is above the law. That said, she can’t be sued or prosecuted — no matter what she’s done. And, get this: It’s actually illegal to sue her. Those who attempt to do so can face a fine or worse.
2. She is the only person in the U.K. who can eat swan
Fun fact: The queen owns all of the swans in the U.K. — and she is the only person allowed to eat them. While there’s no word on whether or not she actually utilizes this power, she does pay mind to how many swans are in her flock. By way of a special ceremony, the queen counts her swans every year.
3. She can give ‘special money’ to the elderly
Another one of the queen’s strange powers: She can give out money to the elderly. That said, she doesn’t give out just any kind of money. She gives elderly ‘special money’ called Maundy money. Every Easter in a special ceremony, the queen gives away the silver coin money to select pensioners. And, get this: The number of pensioners changes every year to match the queen’s age.
4. Many landowners pay her in strange ways
If you own land in Britain, you also owe the queen rent. That said, your royal rent doesn’t have to be paid for with cash. For example: The owner of Fowlis pays their rent by delivering a snowball to the queen mid-summer. And the city of Gloucester pays its rent by way of a giant eel pie.
While we are sure these payments have been agreed upon by the queen, we’re willing to bet that anything goes.
5. She has the power to fire all of Australia’s government
Another bizarre power the queen has? She can fire Australia’s government. Although Commonwealth countries operate independently from Britain, she is still their queen and head of the Commonwealth. So, if she is not pleased with how the Australian government — including the prime minister — is running the country, she can show them the door.
6. She can steal children
Perhaps one of the most bizarre powers the queen holds over the people: She can steal their children. Archaic laws consider the monarch the guardian of all children and infants with certain mental disorders. That said, the queen is considered to be a peaceful monarch (because, you’d have to be certifiably insane to steal someone’s baby) and this power has not been practiced in modern times. Although, she has been accused of it.
7. She is in charge of an entire religion
Another strange way the queen had power over the people? She is the head of the Church of England. Established after King Henry VIII ditched his Catholic faith in the 16th century, her formal title is defender of the faith and supreme governor of the Church of England.
In addition to being the head of a religion, she also holds the power to appoint archbishops and bishops. That said, she must consult with the prime minister before doing so.
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