WORLD

Queen Elizabeth II Was Reported To The Police For A Surprising Offence

But thanks to sovereign immunity, she won't ever face any consequences.

27/06/2017 2:18 AM AEST | Updated 27/06/2017 2:19 AM AEST

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.

WPA Pool via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II leaves after the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on June 21 in London, United Kingdom.
Leon Neal via Getty Images
No seat belt necessary for these two. 

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: 

  • 1957
    Hulton Deutsch via Getty Images
    Driving her children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, at Windsor, watched by a group of onlookers in 1957.
  • 1958
    Bob Haswell via Getty Images
    Attending a polo match in Windsor, U.K. in August 1958.
  • 1982
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    Driiving in Windsor Great Park in 1982.
  • 1992
    Anwar Hussein via Getty Images
    During the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 1992.  
  • 1995
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    Arriving to watch polo at Smiths Lawn in June 1995.
  • 2000
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    Driving on the grounds of Windsor Castle in 2000.
  • 2002
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    After watching the Duke of Edinburgh take the lead in the International Driving Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2002.
  • 2005
    Carl De Souza via Getty Images
    Driving around the grounds of Windsor during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2005. 
  • 2005
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    Driving during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2005.
  • 2005
    Julian Finney via Getty Images
    Following the Duke of Edinburgh as he competes in the Driving Grand Prix Competition during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2005. 
  • 2005
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    Watching the Duke of Edinburg compete in the carriage driving competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2005. 
  • 2006
    Chris Jackson via Getty Images
    Watching Lady Penny Brabourne compete in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix in May 2006 in Windsor, England.
  • 2008
    Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    During day three of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2008.
  • 2010
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    Leaving the final of the Harcourt Developments Queen's Cup polo tournament in Egham, England in June 2010.
  • 2011
    ADRIAN DENNIS via Getty Images
    During the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor, Berkshire, in May 2011.
  • 2013
    Danny Martindale via Getty Images
    Driving to the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2013. 
  • 2014
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    Watching the International Carriage Driving Grand Prix event in May 2014 in Windsor, England. 
  • 2017
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    On day one of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2017. 

Breaking the law, one seat belt at a time. 

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