Queen Elizabeth II has visited numerous countries all over the world during her long reign.
It stands to reason her passport must be full of impressive stamps from all these far-flung locations.
However, the Queen is, in fact, the only person in the whole of the UK who doesn’t need a passport to travel.
This is because all British passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty.
The first page of all British passports reads: “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.”
Although the monarch does not need a passport she still has to complete an identity check.
Elizabeth needs to give her full name, age, address, place of birth and nationality to immigration officials.
This is used, according to the MailOnline, to be “checked against terrorist and criminal watch lists.”
She will do this instead of going through passport control in the same manner as all other British travellers.
However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family who can travel without a passport.
Everyone else – even Prince Charles who is first in line to the throne – needs his own passport.
When he becomes King, however, he will be able to travel without one, just as the Queen does now.
The same rule will apply to Prince William when he becomes monarch after his father.
Despite their privileged status in the UK, all members of the royal family – bar the monarch – still have to travel with a passport.
They will be subjected to the usual security checks, which includes visas if they travel to countries that require them.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have needed to obtain a visa for their royal tour this month to Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji.
However, in certain situations, the Royal Family are allowed to cut corners when it comes to applying for visas. In Australia, for instance, they can be granted a Special Purpose Visa.
According to the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs: “This visa allows people with a prescribed status or who are declared by the Minister to hold a Special Purpose Visa to lawfully enter and remain in Australia”.
You cannot apply for this visa. It is granted when you enter Australia if you are “a member of the Royal Family (that is, the Queen’s immediate family) or their personal staff or media representative or a person accompanying them as a member of their official party.”
When the Queen travels abroad she will always take one very important person with her – and it’s not a member of her family.