Top 10 Facts about British Monarchy


Ah, the royal family. As an American, I am fascinated by the British monarchy. We just don’t have real royalty in the United States, and sometimes hearing about princes, princesses, and the queen makes me feel like I’m reading a storybook or watching a movie. The drama! The tiaras!

If you’re just as interested as I am, you’re going to love these fun top 10 facts about the British monarchy.

1 . The Queen celebrates her birthday twice

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II in 1963 by Archives New Zealand – WikiCommons

Queen Elizabeth II was obviously only born once. Her actual birthday is April 21. Like most people, she prefers to spend her birthday with her close family and friends. But, she is a queen after all, and that means the Commonwealth celebrates too.

Thanks to a tradition started in the 18th century by King George II, the queen’s “official” birthday is usually celebrated on the second Monday of June. In 1748, King George II decided to combine his birthday celebrations with an annual summer military parade. His actual birthday is in October, and the tradition of an official royal birthday stuck.

On a side note, Her Majesty celebrated her 94th birthday this year.

2. If you’re not royal, no touching

Queen Elizabeth meets Michelle Obama by Pete Souza – WikiCommons

There are several weird customs that the royal family has followed for centuries. One old fashioned tradition is that if you’re not a member of the royal family, you’re not supposed to touch them.

Today, this rule is broken quite often. In 2009, Michelle Obama gave the queen a hug and while it did cause a stir, the queen didn’t seem to mind. This rule is most often broken by non-Brits who aren’t aware of the rule.

3. Royals aren’t allowed to sign autographs

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II – Royal Tour of Canada in 1983 by SoftwareSimian – WikiCommons

On the off chance that someone with bad intentions gets a hold of a royal signature, members of the British monarchy aren’t supposed to sign autographs. While a little out there, it is understandable when you think about the potential power behind say, the Queen of England’s, ink.

4. The Queen doesn’t need a driver’s license

One of the perks of being queen means that you don’t need a license in order to drive a car. The reason? Since licenses are issued in the queen’s name, she doesn’t need one herself. She is the only person in the UK to who this loophole applies, obviously! Queen Elizabeth enjoys driving and has been since she was 19 years old. She even served as a mechanic-driver for ambulances during World War II.

5. You’ll find several former royals buried in Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey by Σπάρτακος – WikiCommons

Westminster Abbey, a massive church in London, is the site of several coronations, weddings, and royal funerals. The church also serves as a crypt for several members of the royal family.

King Edward had the church built in the 11th century as a royal burial church. Since then, seventeen former British monarchs have been buried there, including all of the Tudor monarchs – except Henry III.

6. The members of the royal family must accept all gifts given to them

As a member of the royal family, it’s important to be gracious. It’s so important that members of the royal family are required to accept all gifts given to them.

But, ultimately it’s up to the queen to decide what happens to the gifts once they’re accepted because, in the end, all gifts belong to the queen.

7. Royals aren’t supposed to weigh in on politics

King Charles I

King Charles I by
Daniël Mijtens – WikiCommons

Neutrality is also apparently important to the British monarchy. This rule has been around since the 17th century when in 1649 King Charles I was beheaded after the English Civil War against Parliament.

Some royals ignore this rule despite the sometimes risky consequences. At least these days, they most likely won’t lose their head.

8. The Queen isn’t required to show a passport

For the same reasons that the queen doesn’t need to have a driver’s license to drive, she doesn’t need a passport to travel. Drivers’ licenses and passports are issued in the queen’s name. Again, she is the only person in the UK to who this loophole applies. Other members of the royal family must drive with licenses and cross borders with passports!

9. If you dine with the Queen, you must follow her lead

Buckingham Palace, London – Wikipedia

I can imagine that it would be pretty amazing to be invited to dinner with the queen herself. If you ever find yourself so lucky, be sure to follow Queen Elizabeth’s lead. Once the queen stops eating, you must do the same. Keep up the pace, or you might not be allowed to finish your meal!

10. Apparently, the royals don’t play Monopoly

I found this fact to be a little weird, but I kept seeing it over and over again that I had to include it in my list! Apparently, members of the royal family don’t play Monopoly. I couldn’t figure out if this is some actual obscure law against enjoying game night, or if it just applies to the current royal family. But, according to multiple sources, the family gets so competitive that they have banned the board game at home.


I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about the most famous family in the UK and have come to appreciate their little quirks as much as I have!

If you want to learn more about the British monarchy, click here to learn more about all of our walking tour options in London! Our expert local guides are just that – experts and are sure to know even more about the royal family.

Planning a trip to Paris ? Get ready !

These are Amazon’s best-selling travel products that you may need for coming to Paris.


  1. The best travel book : Rick Steves – Paris 2023 – Learn more here
  2. Fodor’s Paris 2024 – Learn more here

Travel Gear

  1. Venture Pal Lightweight Backpack – Learn more here
  2. Samsonite Winfield 2 28″ Luggage – Learn more here
  3. Swig Savvy’s Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle – Learn more here

Check Amazon’s best-seller list for the most popular travel accessories. We sometimes read this list just to find out what new travel products people are buying.