A week this Saturday marks the official celebrations of Queen Elizabeths 91st birthday. You may know that she has two birthdays a year, but do you know why? Let us tell you…
In our recent post on 10 Things to take to a festival we noted that “The one predictable thing about the British weather is that it’s highly unpredictable”, and that’s exactly why the Sovereign celebrates her official birthday on the second Saturday of June, despite her actual birthday being on 21st April.
Queen Elizabeth isn’t actually the first sovereign to celebrate in warmer months. In fact, the Official Royal Family website suggests that when the birthday is not in the summer the birthday is usually officially celebrated in the summer months. A great example of this is King Edward VII, who was born on 9th November, yet celebrated his birthday in May or June.
Here’s a few interesting facts for you:
1. The official birthday celebrations are known as “The Trooping Parade“.
2. The Queens actual birthday is marked by 123 gun salutes in central London at midday. 41 in Hyde Park, 21 in Windsor Great Park and 62 at The Tower of London.
3. King George II is believed to have started the tradition during his reign in 1748.
4. The annual summer military cavalcade became a celebration of King George II as well as the armed forces.
5. George II was born in October but the annual summer military cavalcade became a celebration of the king as well as the armed forces.
The Queens summer birthday celebrations got us thinking, “who else has 2 birthdays?”, so we hit google to find out. Paddington Bear, the fictional character in Michael Bond’s books, was told that bears celebrate two birthdays “just like the queen” by the Browns.
So there you have it. The Queen’s second birthday is actually due to the unreliable British weather! If you’re birthday is in the winter months, why not celebrate it in the summer?