THE QUEEN was celebrating her official birthday today, but the monarch also celebrated her actual birthday in April. But WHY DOES THE BRITISH MONARCH GET TWO SPECIAL DAYS?
So here is why the Queen has two birthdays a year.
Birthday celebrations are being held this weekend for Queen Elizabeth II , but you might have a feeling of deja vu.
After all, Her Majesty had beacons lit in her honour in April for her birthday.
But as you might have heard, she actually celebrates two special days – and this weekend sees the second.
It’s a measure that was introduced 250 years ago, and it’s still going strong.
When are the Queen’s birthdays?
The date of the Queen’s birth was April 21, but she also has an official birthday on a Saturday in June every year.
This year the Queen’s official birthday will fall on Saturday June 11, 2016.
National commemorations begin on Friday with a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Why does the Queen have two birthdays?
The British monarch’s birthday celebrations have often been held on a day that is not their actual birthday.
The tradition is linked to the unreliable British weather because the Royal family want to hold the grand royal birthday parade in the summer.
Since 1748, the monarch’s official birthday has been marked by the parade known as Trooping the Colour – usually held on the king or queen’s actual birthday.
But Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, was born in November. He celebrated officially in May or June because there was less chance of it being cold and drizzly during the outdoor event.
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.
It is now. George VI had his official birthday on the second Thursday of June. In 1959, after several years on the throne, the Queen changed it to the second Saturday for convenience.
It can now be on either the first or the second, and sometimes the third Saturday of the month and is marked by Trooping the Colour carriage and horse procession in central London and a fly-past over Buckingham Palace.
How is the Queen’s birthday celebrated?
The Queen’s official birthday is always celebrated with a military parade known as Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade in London
After Trooping the Colour, the Royal family traditionally gather to watch a military fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours list is published around the time of her official birthday celebration in the summer.
Her Majesty’s actual birthday tends to be quite a private affair, although gun salutes mark the occasion.