The Queen’s Birthday

Her Majesty The Queen celebrates two birthdays every year. Her actual birthday is on 21 April and her official birthday is celebrated on a Saturday in June.

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Why Does The Queen Have Two Birthdays?

It’s tradition. Since 1748 all British monarchs have been given the option of having two birthdays. If the sovereign’s birthday is not in the summer they are given an alternative day of celebration. This is a tradition that was started by King Edward VII and passed down through monarchy history. The reason for the summer celebration is the Trooping the Colour birthday parade. The summer period offers a better guarantee of good weather for this annual event.

Trooping the Colour is performed by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division of the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry, on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. The event is attended and watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public.

 

Official Birthday Celebrations

Official celebrations to mark the Sovereigns’ birthday are usually held on a day other than the actual birthday. This date is not a universally fixed date. In Australia and New Zealand, the Queen’s Official Birthday is celebrated as a public holiday in June. Whilst in Canada this public holiday celebration occurs around 24 May.

The Queen prefers to spend her birthday privately, although the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London. At midday there is a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park and a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park. A 62 gun salute at the Tower of London finishes off the public ceremony.

Members of the Royal Family join the Queen at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade that travels between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade. For many years The Queen rode her favoured horse Burmese at the birthday parade. In recent years however, she has ridden in a carriage.

 

Private Birthday Celebrations

Her Majesty The Queen was born on 21 April 1926and was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. The Queen celebrates her actual birthday in private, usually with family and close friends at Windsor. More recently she has spent the day at the races in grand style. Despite being in good health Queen Elizabeth has started to hand over more public duties to other members of the Royal Family.

Her popularity among British people has always remained high, largely inspired by her dedication to charitable courses. She is patron of more than 600 charities and organisations.

 

Additional Celebrations

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be 89 on her birthday, and on 9 September 2015 will celebrate another historical landmark. This day represents an extraordinary milestone in British history. It is the day on which Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning British monarch, as she breaks the record held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria – 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes – 63 years and seven months.

 

Interesting Facts

The Queen doesn’t have a passport.

• She paid for her wedding dress with ration coupons.

• During World War she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service and trained as a mechanic and truck driver.

• Queen Elizabeth sent her first email in 1976, using a forerunner of the modern internet.

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