Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

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  • Happy birthday Her Majesty!

    The Queen has had a full schedule in recent weeks, with plenty of celebrations to mark her 70-year reign over the Platinum Jubilee weekend. 

    Throw into the mix her two birthdays.  But why does the Queen have two birthdays?

    The 96-year-old monarch’s actual birthday falls on 21 April, but she also celebrates her birthday officially on the second Saturday in June.

    The official celebration is marked with the Trooping the Colour, which sees the monarch stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as she watches the Horseguards parade, as well as the fly over.

    Though the official birthday usually falls on the second Saturday in June, and around the 11th June, this year the calendar had a little shake up due to the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which took place over the first weekend in June.

    So for those who have an alert on your calendar that today is the Queen’s birthday, technically it should be.

    The decision to mark the sovereign’s birthday with official celebrations held on a day different to their actual day of birth was the Queen’s great-grandfather, Edward VII.

    Edward VII was born in November, which wasn’t the best weather in the UK, and ever since, a separate official royal engagement has been in the diary for the second weekend in June.

    According to the Royal UK website, the Queen likes to keep her actual birthday a private and intimate affair, and waits for June for the public events.

    It reads: “The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London 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. In 2006, Her Majesty celebrated her 80th Birthday in 2006 with a walkabout in the streets outside of Windsor Castle to meet well-wishers.

    “On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade as well as a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.”

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