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Why Does The Queen Have Two Birthdays?

Laura Sanders

| Last updated 

Why Does The Queen Have Two Birthdays?

The Queen's June birthday celebrations take place on Saturday 12h June 2021. This is her second birthday celebration and it's marked with the official Trooping the Colour parade.

It will be the first birthday she celebrates as a widow without her beloved husband, Prince Phillip, who would have turned 100 this year.

Every year, the nation is left wondering why the Queen has two birthdays and which one is her real one.

So, we're clearing this up once and for all.

When is the Queen's actual birthday?

The Queen's actual birthday is in April. She was born on 21st April 1926 in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York.

She first met Prince Philip in 1934 at the age of eight. They were attending the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, Duke of Kent. The then Princess Elizabeth got engaged to Prince Philip in July 1947, at the age of 21.

Beatrice wore Queen Mary's fringe tiara, which matches the style of the one the Queen wore on her own wedding day in 1947 (Credit: PA)
Beatrice wore Queen Mary's fringe tiara, which matches the style of the one the Queen wore on her own wedding day in 1947 (Credit: PA)

How does the Queen celebrate her birthday?

According to the official Royal family website, the Queen usually celebrates her actual birthday privately.

In normal times, there would be gun salutes across central London at midday to mark the occasion: 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.

In 2016, Her Majesty celebrated her 90th Birthday with a walkabout outside of Windsor Castle to meet some of her well-wishers.

But with Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, it's likely this year's celebrations will be scaled back to prevent crowds forming.

Why does the Queen celebrate a second birthday?

Fancy working for the Queen?! (Credit: PA)
Fancy working for the Queen?! (Credit: PA)

Queen Elizabeth II also marks her birthday on the second Saturday in June. While many believe it's because she's a Monarch and therefore, she can have as many birthdays as she wants - right?, it's actually just down to the UK's unpredictable weather.

Queen Elizabeth, and Monarchs before her who have been born during the winter months, celebrates her birthday again during the summer months. This is when good weather can be guaranteed for the official Birthday Parade, known as Trooping the Colour.

"The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years," according to the Royal family website.

This year, the UK is set to have the hottest summer in a decade, so hopefully the Queen will have plenty of sunshine for her Birthday Parade in June.

What is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is a spectacular military display to celebrate the Queen's birthday ' Credit: The Royal Family
Trooping the Colour is a spectacular military display to celebrate the Queen's birthday ' Credit: The Royal Family

The parade starts outside Buckingham Palace and makes its way down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade.

Members of the Royal Family ride on horseback and in carriages as part of the procession. The Queen herself used to ride on horseback up until a few years ago. She now rides in a carriage instead.

This special display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

You can watch the 2016 Trooping the Colour parade in the video player below.


Is Trooping the Colour on this year 2021?

There are three dates for this parade and usually, members of the public can buy tickets to go and watch.

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus restrictions, the decision has been made to cancel this year's Trooping the Colour parade in London.

In a statement on the official ticket website, it said:

"Following consultation with Government and other relevant parties it has been agreed that The Queen's Official Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead this year in its traditional form in Central London. Options for an alternative parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, are being considered. Full refunds will be automatically given to those that have tickets for the parades on 29 May, 5 June and 12 June. No application for a refund is required. We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment that this may cause."

Let's hope for an even bigger parade for Her Majesty next year.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen, Royal Family

Laura Sanders
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