It’s King Charles’ birthday on Monday (14 November), and his first birthday as the reigning monarch.
And to mark the notable occasion, the King is set to receive a special honour in light of the day.
It’s tradition for British monarchs to celebrate their birthday twice in one year: once on their actual birthday, and another on their official one.
Buckingham Palace notes: “Official celebrations to mark the Sovereign’s birthday have often been held on a day another than the actual birthday, particularly when the actual birthday has not been in the summer.
“King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping of the Colour.”
Of course, Queen Elizabeth II was known to keep her annual celebrations in line with this tradition, as her birthday fell on 21 April in the spring.
Typically, the Queen celebrated her actual birthday privately at Windsor Castle, where it was marked by gun salutes, or would otherwise see an appearance from the sovereign herself during a brief walk if it was a big birthday.
King Charles III, however, is also thought to be in keeping with tradition as his 74th birthday, which takes place on 14 November, couldn’t be further from the summer.
But greeting him on the day, on his first birthday as king, will be a series of special tributes, including, of course, gun salutes.
The celebrations are set to begin at 11am on Monday, with the band of the Household Cavalry at Buckingham Palace, where Charles was born in 1948, performing 'Happy Birthday' for the King.
That performance will be followed at midday by a 41-gun royal salute from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in nearby Green Park. The Band of the Scots Guards will then perform another rendition of 'Happy Birthday.'
Also at midday, the Honourable Artillery Company will fire a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London, his Majesty's Royal Palace.
As per the British Army, such salutes are usually reserved as a sign of respect or a welcome. Salutes with an open hand were used in history to demonstrate that there were no concealed weapons, while firing a cannon in a salute shows that the chamber is empty.
These days in the UK, gun salutes are fired on significant royal events, like the King’s first birthday as the monarch.Featured Image Credit: Doug Peters / Alamy Stock Photo WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo