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13 “Facts” About Queen Elizabeth II That Aren’t True

Fascinated by Queen Elizabeth, we decided to fact-check some of the more popular stories we've heard about her. Turns out all of these are fake, fake, and fake.

Britain Royal Wedding, Windsor, United Kingdom - 21 May 2018Alexi Lubomirski/AP/Shutterstock

No, she didn’t bring a beagle to Meghan and Harry’s wedding

Queen Elizabeth is a dog lover, yes. She even refers to her corgis as “fehmly” (that’s royal-speak for “family,” in case you haven’t been watching The Crown on Netflix). But did she escort Meghan Markle’s rescued beagle, Guy, to Meghan and Harry’s wedding? No, she did not, Snopes clarifies. Guy is, no doubt, one of the luckiest beagles on the planet, but, alas, he was not invited to his mum’s wedding and did not crash in the arms of the Queen. Find out the truth behind 10 other myths about the royal family.

Barack Obama's First 100 Days in Office - 2009Shutterstock

No, she did not snub Michelle Obama

For a period of time in 2017, word had it that Queen Elizabeth removed former President Obama and his wife, Michelle, from the guest list for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding after she learned the former FLOTUS was intending to “sneak” in. If the notion of Mrs. Obama “sneaking in” isn’t a tip-off, here’s a spoiler alert: none of this is true. The Obamas are not personal friends of the royal family, and only personal friends were invited, Snopes explains. Here are 18 tiny details you might have missed about the wedding.

US President Donald Trump visit to the UK, Day 2, Windsor - 13 Jul 2018Shutterstock

No, she didn’t dis Trump by wearing Obama-gifted jewelry

When President Trump visited Queen Elizabeth, one rumor that emerged was the Queen dissed the POTUS by wearing a brooch gifted to her by former President Barack Obama. While Snopes goes into an elaborately detailed listing of every brooch the Queen wore while President Trump was present in the British Isles, how about we suffice it to say that when Elizabeth met Donald and Melania, she was wearing a brooch her mum had given her in 2002.

Queen Elizabeth II and visit Cheshire, UK - 14 Jun 2018Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

No, she didn’t demand that Meghan sign a prenup

Neither Camilla nor Catherine (as “Kate” Middleton prefers to be called), signed a prenuptial agreement prior to joining their royal spouses in marriage. The same is true of Meghan. Stories about Queen Elizabeth II holding up the wedding while negotiations proceeded are simply untrue, Snopes explains.

US President Donald Trump visit to the UK, Day 2, Windsor - 13 Jul 2018Shutterstock

No, she isn’t offended the Trumps didn’t bow to her

And she wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t bow/curtsy to her either. In fact, there is no obligatory code of behavior applicable to meeting the Queen or any other member of the British royal family, according to the royal family’s own website. While many who meet the Queen prefer to bow their neck or curtsy, a regular handshake is perfectly acceptable.

Trooping the Colour ceremony, London, UK - 09 Jun 2018Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

No, she can’t legally kill our president (nor does she wish to)

A year ago, it was reported that Queen Elizabeth stated she had the full legal right to kill the U.S. president. The report was satire, however, arising out of talk that the Queen is “above the law,” which in some ways, she is. In fact, the royal website states that “civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Sovereign as a person under U.K. law.” Nevertheless, she is “careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law.” Find out other fascinating facts about Queen Elizabeth.

Royal Windsor Horse Show, UK - 13 May 2017Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

No, she doesn’t need a license to drive

Here’s one way the Queen lives above the law. She drives without a license. In fact, she drove a first aid truck during World War II. As The Independent explains, “The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a license.” This is because driver’s licenses are issued in her name, and it would seem unnecessary for her to issue one to herself. Here are all the other laws the Queen doesn’t have to follow.

Order of the Garter service, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, UK - 18 Jun 2018Shutterstock

No, she does not want to retake the United States

At no time has Queen Elizabeth ever expressed any interest in restoring British rule over the United States. That doesn’t stop people from claiming that she asked Americans to write her name on their ballots in 2016. Nor did she promise the British people she would “take back” the United States if Trump were to be elected (spoiler alert: he was elected, and she hasn’t made her move).

State Opening of Parliament, London, Britain - 27 May 2015Shutterstock

No, she isn’t merely a figurehead

The fact that the United Kingdom operates as a parliamentary democracy doesn’t mean the Queen is a mere figurehead. The Queen has a number of specifically enumerated powers. She can declare war. She can grant royal pardons. She determines who will be knighted. She can requisition civilian ships for military use. She can summon and dissolve Parliament and has these other powers.

Investec Derby Festival, Race Day, Epsom Downs Racecourse, UK - 02 Jun 2018Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

But no, she cannot and does not intervene in political disputes

It is an absolute no-no for the Queen to intervene in political disputes, according to Snopes. Take, for example, the controversy over “Brexit.” Although legally, she may have had the “right” to intervene (by vetoing the legislation), she did not, and there is no recent precedent for a British monarch overruling Parliament. The Queen has a policy of remaining neutral when it comes to party politics. In fact, this is one issue that she may have with the notion of abdicating in favor of Prince Charles. Here are other reasons the Queen will not abdicate.

Out-Sourcing Royal Windsor Cup Polo match, Windsor, UK - 24 Jun 2018DAVID HARTLEY/Shutterstock

No, she didn’t have to make Prince Philip kneel before her

When the Queen was crowned during her 1953 coronation, her husband, Philip kneeled before her as was his duty. In Netflix’s The Crown, it is suggested that Philip had plans to refuse to kneel to Elizabeth during the ceremony and that Elizabeth had to convince him not to make such a spectacle. None of this happened, nor could it have, because it was Philip’s royal duty to kneel before the Queen at the coronation. As a member of the Greek Royal family prior to his marriage, he was well aware of what was expected of him.


No, she didn’t stop her sister from marrying

The late sister of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, had been in love with Peter Townsend, a royal equerry who became divorced during his tenure. Although the two had wanted to marry, they never did and went on to marry others. Many believe it was Queen Elizabeth who stopped the marriage. While it’s true Elizabeth delayed granting permission to her 23-year old sister until she turned 25, Elizabeth stated in a letter to the Prime Minister, “Her Majesty would not wish to stand in the way of her sister’s happiness.” The choice not to marry Peter Townsend was entirely Margaret’s, reports the BBC.

Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor, UK - 09 May 2018Shutterstock

No, she wasn’t yet Queen when she made her famous speech

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” So said Elizabeth in one of her most famous speeches, one often cited when arguing she will never abdicate. Although the promise is valid, at the time it was made, 1947, Elizabeth was not yet Queen. The speech was made on the occasion of her 21st birthday, and her father, King George VI, was still very much alive. Next, find out other surprising things you might not know about the British royal family.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.

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