No, the ‘P’ on your passport does not stand for ‘peasant’

13 October 2021
What was claimed

The ‘P’ on the photo page of passports stands for “pauper” or “peasant”.

Our verdict

This is not true. The ‘P’ actually indicates that it is a machine readable passport.

What was claimed

The Queen and her children do not have passports to travel.

Our verdict

The Queen doesn’t need a passport, as she is the issuer of these documents, but all other members of the Royal Family have them.

A Facebook post claims the letter ‘P’ found on the photo page of passports under “type” actually stands for “pauper” or “peasant”. 

The post states: “‘P’ stands for "pauper/peasant", that's right, we're paupers/peasants/poor and 'need' the elite's permission to pass any port.”

It also claims the Queen and her children don’t have passports to travel. 

Neither of these claims are correct. 

A Freedom of Information Act sent to the Home Office in 2011 (which the Home Office has confirmed is still accurate) reveals that the ‘P’ essentially stands for… passport. 

The FOI response says: “Within British passports, the capital letter 'P' is designated to denote that the document type is a 'Machine Readable Passport'. This letter will be dependent upon the document type being issued. Other codes include, but are not limited to: V to denote Visa [and] C or I to denote ID Card.”  

As for the Royals, while the Queen does not need a passport (as all passports are issued in her name anyway) all other members of the Royal Family have one.

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