Here’s why King Charles secretly refuses to hand over his passport
Does King Charles really need a passport? We’re all familiar with the cumbersome process of renewing passports, the queues at immigration, and the sweaty-palmed moment when you realize you’ve misplaced yours at the airport. But for the recently crowned King Charles, that’s a concern of the past.
So what does a king do when he no longer requires a passport in his hands? Did he ever require a passport in his hands to begin with? Let’s take a look.
No Passport Required
This past Wednesday, an announcement from the U.K. government surprised us all – they’re going to start issuing passports in King Charles’s name this week. Wait, what? Yes, you heard that right! Before you start imagining the king lining up at the passport office, remember – when you’re a monarch, you’re not bound by the same rules as the rest of us.
In fact, Charles, who’s now 74 years old, doesn’t even need to carry a passport when traveling abroad. And why’s that? Because, as per the royal family’s official website, the passports are actually issued in the monarch’s name!
You see, when Queen Elizabeth was alive, she never required a British passport for her overseas tours.
Despite having visited over a hundred countries and clocking more than a million miles of travel, she never had to fuss over a passport. Now that the Queen has passed away and her son Charles has ascended to the throne, his name will grace the new passports, symbolizing a significant step in the evolution of U.K. government communications.
As the royal reign’s transition continues, these passports are the first step. Made in the same navy color as before, they bear the Royal Arms but with an exciting twist – the first page now proudly displays “His Majesty” instead of “Her Majesty.” The words add a touch of elegance and authority, don’t they?
The updated passports aren’t the only change the monarchy is bringing about. In late March, eagle-eyed fans spotted King Charles’s cypher on the plane when he and Queen Camilla disembarked in Germany for their first state visit as King and Queen. This cypher is gradually being integrated into military uniforms across Britain, from Prince William’s aide-de-camp regalia to the Yeoman Guards’ uniforms at the Tower of London.
So, while the world continues to evolve, some things remain steadfastly regal. Home Secretary Suella Braverman described the moment as “a significant moment in U.K. history,” emphasizing how Her Majesty has appeared on British passports for over 70 years. This change indeed marks a new era in British history, providing a unique way for Britons to carry a piece of their monarchy with them wherever they travel.
But hey, why stop at passports? Earlier this year, King Charles’s royal cypher debuted at the Tower of London. Guards at the iconic castle sported new uniforms bearing the cypher, indicating yet another shift as the kingdom eases into King Charles’s reign. So for now, it doesnt seem like any passports are needed to change hands between a king and anyone else.
Monarchy and Money
In December, the King graced another official document for the first time – U.K. banknotes. The Bank of England released images of King Charles on four denominations of banknotes, making him the first-ever King to appear on Bank of England notes. However, these banknotes are slated to enter circulation only in mid-2024.
So, from passports to plane cyphers, military uniforms, and banknotes, King Charles is leaving his royal imprint on the U.K., signaling an exciting new era for the country. This leaves us with one question – What’s next in store for the U.K. under King Charles’s reign?