Royal myths – in light of various articles on our site pointing to different myths that surprising amount of people believe, we thought we’d compile our top ten royal myths that are commonly believed plus an explanation of the truth behind it.
1. “The Queen doesn’t pay taxes”
Yes, yes she does! In 1992, Her Majesty volunteered to pay income tax and capital gains tax and since 1993 her personal income has been taxable as for any other taxpayer.
The Queen has always been subject to Value Added Tax and pays local rates on a voluntary basis.
2. “Prince Charles won’t be King, he’ll give it to William”
Whereas one day, Prince William will reign as King, the line of succession to the British throne doesn’t work on the basis of popularity. The method of succession puts Charles first in line and William second. Prince Charles actually has no choice about being ahead of William in the line of succession and there’s nothing he can do to remove himself from the line of succession except die or marry a Catholic! You may not like it, but many Monarchs in history started off unpopular, but almost all succeeded in their role. Charles will be King. Now learn to deal with it!
3. “All members of the Royal Family are titled as Prince/Princess”
Actually, most are – in fact, all females are! But not as most people seem to think. The title of Prince/Princess is reserved for members of the Royal Family who were born into the family not those who married into the family.
There is no such person as ‘Princess Camilla’ or ‘Princess Catherine’, but there are such people as ‘The Princess Charles’ and ‘Princess William’, due to the way British titles work, wives of Princes automatically become Princesses-by-Marriage, but not Princesses in their own right, i.e. they hold the title by courtesy because of their husband – so ‘Princess Charles’ and ‘Princess William’, but not ‘Princess Camilla’ and not ‘Princess Kate’.
4. “The guards at Buckingham Palace are just actors”
No. If one of the guardsmen ever heard you saying that, you’d likely get a shouting at. They are not actors, they are real soldiers from the British Army, from one of the 5 regiments of foot guards. Half of their duties involve ceremonial guarding duties and the other half are as infantry soldiers. Such is the nature of their job that one week, they could be guarding Buckingham Palace and the next week, they could be fighting in Afghanistan.
The guardsmen are not just there for decoration either, they are part of the Royal security and there weapons are loaded with live ammunition, should they need to defend the Palaces.
5. “The Queen wears her crown all the time”
This is probably one of the most laughable misconceptions. The Queen does not wear her crown all the time, this is for two primary reasons.
The first being comfort. The Queen’s only crown (that is used regularly) is the Imperial State Crown, whilst it may look very nice and be well decorated, it is certainly not comfortable, primarily because the crown weighs over 1.1 kilograms – in fact, The Queen tries to avoid wearing it as much as possible, she says it makes her neck ache.
In the run up to the State Opening Of Parliament (the only time the crown is used in the year), Her Majesty will wear the crown at regular intervals to get used to its weight.
6. “Her Royal Highness The Queen”
The style of ‘Royal Highness’ is given to relatives of the reigning Monarch. The Queen’s style is ‘Her Majesty’ – there are only 3 types of royal who are entitled to use the style of ‘Majesty’, they are: King (if there is one), Queen (regnant or consort) and Queen Dowager (also more commonly known as a ‘Queen Mother’.
Referring to the Queen as ‘Her Royal Highness’ is considered a basic mistake to make don’t get caught out!
7. “The Queen Of England”
Who’s this ‘Queen Of England’ you speak of? – There is no ‘Queen Of England’, there hasn’t been since the acts of union almost 400 years ago. There have been Queen of Great Britain and we have a Queen of the United Kingdom.
Calling Her Majesty ‘The Queen Of England’ is quite insulting to those who are subjects of Her Majesty but maybe not English, for example Scotland is one of the countries Her Majesty is Queen of, and that’s not in England!
When referring to The Queen as the head of another country in the Commonwealth (e.g. Canada), you can simply say she’s Queen of Canada.
8. “The Queen holds a drivers’ license”
No. Her Majesty is the only person in the UK who legally requires no driving license. Her car also requires no number plate, instead, to indicate it’s the Royal car, it features a crown on a red background on the sun screen inside the car.
Her Majesty learnt to drive during the war when she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a mechanic.
9. “The Queen is old and doesn’t move with the times”
Actually, Her Majesty is probably more technologically advanced than even many IT experts! She sent her first email from an Army base in 1976, Her Majesty also owns a mobile phone, which she used to contact her grandchildren.
See, Her Majesty does move with the times!
10. “Monarchy is outdated and useless”
Whilst this may be what Republic UK would have you believe, it is not the truth. Monarchy adds stability, continuity, colour and a distinguishing feature to the UK. Sadly, Monarchy is dying out – there are only 28 monarchies left in the world today. Many are not successful, but the UK has managed to adapt and change so that now, the British Monarchy has formed a network of alliance called the Commonwealth, which helps improve relations between countries and lets other countries share in our Royal family.