Why Queen has two birthdays - but Prince William might only get one when he's King
By MIRROR |
4 months ago
Everyone loves a birthday. Cake, presents, and a great time celebrating with your nearest and dearest (well, if Boris allows it).
But sometimes it can be a bit hard fitting everything in, especially if your big day lands in the week and you have to go to work.
So the Queen has the right idea and decided to have two birthdays - her actual birthday and an official, monarch's birthday.
She was born on April 21, 1926, so that's her proper birthday but her royal day is the first or second Saturday in June.
The tradition of Monarchs having a second birthday was introduced 250 years ago and it's still going strong - but why?
Well, in what may be one of the most British excuses ever, it's all because of the weather.
Since 1748, Kings and Queens have marked their big day with the Trooping the Colour parade.
But Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, was born in November - which obviously isn't the best time of year for a huge outdoor celebration.
So instead, he moved Trooping of the Colour to May or June because there was less chance of it being cold and drizzly on the big day.
The monarch after Edward VII - George V - helpfully had a birthday in June, but the Queen's father, George VI, whose birthday was in December, reintroduced the tradition of an official birthday, which Elizabeth II has continued.
There isn't a set date for the Queen's official birthday, and it is instead typically held on the second Saturday of June.
George VI used to do it on the second Thursday of the month, but the Queen changed it to the weekend for convenience.
But when Prince William takes the throne in future, he might only get the one celebration as like George V he has a June birthday anyway so it's perfect for the sunny celebrations.
His big day falls on June 21. And the next king, Prince George, is also a summer baby so there is a chance the tradition may disappear for several decades.
However they might decide to continue with the two birthdays - only time will tell.
Trooping the Colour, a military parade which dates back to the 17th Century, is a highlight in the royal calendar and is one of the few times we get to see the whole family together.
The most famous moment from the annual celebration is when the entire royal family come together on the Buckingham Palace balcony to wave to well-wishers.
It's normally the only time we get all generations of the Royal Family - including the Monarch, Prince Charles, Kate, William, George, Charlotte and Louis together.
It sees more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians to perform for the Monarch.
The big celebrations have been scrapped for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic, however there have been smaller celebrations at Windsor Castle where the Queen spent lockdown.
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