UK Queen’s Official Birthday, the second Thursday of June

The Queen’s Official Birthday commemorates the birthday of the monarch of the UK and the British Commonwealth. The official birthday does not correlate with the sovereign’s exact birthday.

The first official birthday of the monarch of the UK was celebrated in 1748 for King George II on his actual day of birth. Over the years, the holiday’s date changed according to the monarch’s birthday, until 1901, with the reign of Edward VII, who was born in November. Since winter is not the ideal season for public events, the king decided to celebrate his birthday during the traditional military parade in June.

Since then, the Queen’s Official Birthday in the UK has been celebrated annually on the second Thursday of June, while Queen Elizabeth II‘s actual birthday is on April 21st.

In the UK, the day marks the Queen’s Birthday Honors list – a ceremony in which the monarch or her representatives grant individuals appointments into the dynastic or national orders. The Trooping the Colour, also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade, in which the royal family, accompanied by 1400 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 band members, travels down the Mall toward Whitehall and later gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet the crowd and watch the aerial display of the RAF planes.

Other nations of the British commonwealth also celebrate the Queen’s Birthday.

In New Zealand, the day is celebrated on the first Monday in June, and it includes official ceremonies such as the Queen’s Birthday Honors list and military parades.

In Australia, the first Monday in June is Western Australia Day, so the Queen’s Official Birthday is observed in most regions on the last Monday of September, except Queensland, which celebrates it on the first Monday in October. On this day, businesses are closed, and because it marks the start of the ski season in Australia, many people use the holiday to enjoy the slopes.

Canada celebrates Victoria Day on May 25th. It has been observed since 1845 to honor the birthday of Queen Victoria, and in 1957 it was established as the celebration of the Canadian monarch’s official birthday. On the day, the Royal Union Flag is flown on federal crown’s buildings, there is an artillery salute, and various cities hold parades, such as the traditional Trooping of the Queen’s Colour in Ottawa.

The day is observed in many other British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth countries, including Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji, which abolished the monarchy in 1987.


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