Seeing as Queen Elizabeth II has ruled for 64 years, Her Majesty can do whatever she bloody well pleases. And that includes not wearing a seat belt.
During the State Opening of Parliament last week, the queen and her son, Prince Charles, rode in the backseat of a car sans seat belts.
That didn’t sit well with a certain concerned citizen, who called the U.K. equivalent of 911 to report that the queen was breaking the law. The West Yorkshire Police department wasn’t too pleased with the caller:
In the U.K., people are required to wear seat belts by law, though there are a few exceptions ― the queen being one of them. A statement on the Royal Family’s website offers a little clarity on the queen’s sovereign immunity:
“Although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Sovereign as a person under U.K. law, the queen is careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law,” the statement says.
Though one would assume the queen couldn’t get away with murder, her immunity hasn’t been tested. The last true test of sovereign immunity was in 1911, when King George V was accused of bigamy. The Lord Chief Justice said that the king could not be ordered to give evidence, according to BBC.
“So it is based not only custom, but also on case law,” constitutional expert Lord St. John of Fawsley told BBC. “You would get eccentric people coming forward and summoning the Queen into the courts, and it would make her position impossible.”
If you look at these photos of the queen driving, you’ll notice she rarely buckles up:
Breaking the law, one seat belt at a time.
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