Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

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  • Queen Elizabeth has two birthdays - one on 21st April and another on the second Saturday in June.

    • Traditionally, official celebrations to mark a King or Queen’s birthday in the UK have been held on a day that isn’t their actual date of birth.
    • The double birthday tradition was started over 250 years ago by King George II in 1748.
    • This follows royal news that the Queen is being removed as head of state from Barbados.

    When was the Queen born?

    Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on 21st April 1926.

    She was born in Mayfair, London, and was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York – who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

    Contrary to modern royal children, she was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War.

    In 1947, she married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark.

    Together they have four children: Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

    When the Queen’s father died in February 1952, Elizabeth became head of the Commonwealth at just 25 years of age.

    She also became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon.

    She is now the longest-reigning monarch in British history, having served 68 years on the throne in 2020.

    Why the Queen has an extra birthday in June

    This is a tradition that dates back to 1748 and the reason is to make sure the weather is better for outdoor celebrations.

    The double birthday tradition was started more than 250 years ago by King George II in 1748.

    He was born in November, which is typically a cold month.

    But King George wanted it to be possible to have a big public celebration.

    So he decided to combine it with an annual military parade in the summer, when the weather would be warmer.

    There is usually a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on April 21 to mark the Queen’s actual birthday.

    The Trooping the Colour parade marks her official birthday and usually takes place in June.

    Trooping the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British monarch for over 260 years.

    Why is the Queen’s birthday in Australia different?

    In Australia, the Queen’s birthday is celebrated as a public holiday.

    This is because it is a constitutional monarchy, with the English monarch as head of state.

    Many Australians have a day off work on the Queen’s Birthday.

    The Queen’s Birthday is usually marked on the second Monday of June in most of Australia.

    The Monarch’s Birthday was first celebrated in Australia in 1788.

    In that year, King George III was the Monarch and Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark his birthday.

    Originally, the Monarch’s birthday was celebrated on their actual date of birth.

    However, after the death of King George V in 1936, the date remained close to his birthday, which was June 3.