Queen’s 96th birthday: Why does Queen Elizabeth have two birthdays?

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Today is the Queen’s 96th birthday, and it will be a low-key event attended by only close family members.

The Queen celebrates her birthday twice a year, once on the day of her birth, and once during the “official” ceremonial event in June.

Queen's 96th birthday: Why does Queen Elizabeth have two birthdays?
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth gets own Barbie doll

Trooping the Colour, the lavish spectacle that kicks off the celebrations on her official birthday in June, is a highlight of the annual extravaganza.


Gun salutes are held in several of the country’s most prominent parks on her actual birthday, which is mostly a private affair.

Why does Queen Elizabeth have two birthdays?

Since 1748, when King George II was reigning, the tradition of an official monarch’s birthday has been in force.

George’s birthday was originally scheduled for November, but he chose to move it to the summer so that he could have a large-scale public celebration.

He decided to combine his birthday party with Trooping the Colour, a summer military parade.

The Queen’s “official” birthday was celebrated on the same day as her father, King George VI, on the second Thursday of June.

In 1959, seven years into her rule, she moved it to its present date – the second Saturday in June.

She technically has a couple more birthdays, with certain Commonwealth countries marking them at various dates.

The second Monday in June is a public holiday in the majority of Australia, where the Queen is head of state; however, Western Australia celebrates in September or October. The first Monday of June in New Zealand, and the first Monday of May in Canada.

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When is the Queen’s true birthday?

It’s Queen Elizabeth II’s 96th birthday. She was born on April 21, 1926.

However, at midday, 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 celebrate the Queen’s actual birthday discreetly.

It was the Queen’s 96th birthday and the Royal Family’s official Twitter account shared a photo of her at two.

“Then, in 1928, it was never expected she would be Queen, and this year Her Majesty is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee – a first in British history,” the tweet said.

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The Queen was photographed with two of her white fell horses at Windsor Castle last month.

Her Royal Highness barely celebrated her 95th birthday last year, as her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died. A peaceful meal with her closest family members was substituted for the usual cannon salutes.

The Queen missed the traditional Easter Sunday celebrations at Windsor Castle due to ongoing mobility concerns. In February, she caught Covid-19, which left her “exhausted”.

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