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The Royals

Why the Queen Doesn’t Have a License — But Drives Anyway!

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Among her many privileges, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t have to face the stress of having to pass a pesky driving test.

She is the only person allowed to sit behind the wheel in Britain without a driver’s license — and continues to drive at age 91. Earlier this week, she was photographed behind the wheel of a Jaguar while driving from church service at the Royal Chapel in Windsor Park.

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At age 19, the then-princess learned to master a vehicle at a training center in 1945 while working in the wartime Auxiliary Territorial Service.

But, as part of the “royal prerogative” – discretionary powers or rights that the sovereign alone enjoys — she has never needed to take a driving test because she is excluded from the regulations and laws governing the road, according to the authoritative Royal Encyclopedia. She tends to be seen driving only around her private estates.

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It’s not known who taught the Queen all those years ago, but she and husband Prince Philip did brave the arguments and nervous drives around the estates of Balmoral and Sandringham when the royal parents took turns to accompany their teen children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne as they learned.

After further lessons from the Metropolitan Police Motor Driving School, Charles and Anne sat and passed their tests in, respectively, April 1967 and a year or so later. Prince William passed his test – at the first attempt — in July 1999.