12 “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.
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 “family.” 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.
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.
No, she didn’t dis Trump by wearing Obama-gifted jewelry
When President Trump visited Queen Elizabeth, one rumour 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 why the Queen will not abdicate.
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.
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.