3 Monarchs Still Don’t Need Passports For International Travel
3 MONARCHS ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO DON’T NEED PASSPORTS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
For people who travel internationally, passports are a must. This is nearly universally true. But for some reason, there are 3 people in the entire world who are exempt from this otherwise absolute requirement. Passports, of course, are the travel document issued by (presumably, but not always) from an individual’s birth country or country of residence. Yet many people of means have multiple passports from several countries, for a host of strategic reasons. But regardless of one’s level of wealth, they still have to have a legal, official passport to cross an international border. Yet for some reason, 3 monarchs are totally exempt from this requirement.
EMPEROR AND EMPRESS OF JAPAN AND THE KING OF ENGLAND DON’T NEED PASSPORTS
So who are these lucky, privileged, tiny minority? They are the Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan, and King Charles III of the United Kingdom. For the Japanese monarchs, this has been true since 1971. It seems that at the time, Japan decided that the Japanese imperial monarchs, the direct descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu, shouldn’t be beholden to such a mortal and mundane rule like everyone else. In terms of cultural symbology, I can see where they are coming from. Though I am loath to agree with the rationale, over half a century later.
NO OTHER ROYAL FAMILY MEMBERS, OR ANY OTHER MONARCHS IN THE WORLD ENJOY PASSPORTS FREE PRIVILEGE
Yet as a Westerner, I am not even slightly more fond of the English monarchs having the same “privilege,” either. The recently crowned King Charles III has, along with his ascension to the throne, also inherited this nearly total passport exemption from his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Yet it’s worth noting that no one else in the English royal family enjoys this virtually unknown perk. And that includes the King’s wife, Queen Consort Camilla. Yet at least every time any or all of these three monarchs travel, it does require detailed, high level coordination between officials from the countries involved in the travel itinerary.
But at some level, there is something odious about only 3 monarchs in the entire world enjoying such exclusive rights.