This strange rule that means the Queen has two birthdays

Jennifer Savin
·2-min read
Photo credit: ARTHUR EDWARDS - Getty Images
Photo credit: ARTHUR EDWARDS - Getty Images

Tomorrow is set to be a very different sort of birthday celebration for the Queen, who will be turning 95, as it occurs just twelve days after the sad loss of her beloved husband, Prince Philip. Coronavirus-related restrictions, in addition to her official period of mourning, also dictate that any big events that would've been in the works have been cancelled.

With this in mind, the rest of the Royal Family are believed to have devised a special rota amongst themselves to ensure Her Majesty isn't left alone during her birthday – and tomorrow is indeed her 'real' birthday, as opposed to the second birthday celebration that usually occurs later on in the year, known as the Trooping of the Colour.

The name of this follow-up summertime event, which takes place on the second Saturday of June, will likely ring a bell as it's the day responsible for multiple royals gathering for the now-famous balcony photos at Buckingham Palace. The monarch and her close family, along with an excitable crowd, are routinely pictured watching the military air displays taking place overhead in honour of the Queen and the event also offers Her Majesty the chance to inspect her troops.

Photo credit: Neil Mockford - Getty Images
Photo credit: Neil Mockford - Getty Images

But if Queen Elizabeth II was born 21st of April 1926, then why is she allowed a further celebration in June? It's all down to a rather unusual old-school rule implemented by King George II, who was born way back in November 1683, and the, err, weather.

Due to King George II's birthday being in the winter months (and British weather being, well, exactly that...), the sovereign wasn't exactly able to host a jolly public parade, so he decided to create a second 'official' birthday in the summer when, with any luck, the sun would be out in full force. Essentially, he used his kingly powers to their absolute finest (we can't say we wouldn't do the same, to be fair).

Ever since then, the reigning British sovereign has been entitled to have a second birthday in the summer, which is why the Queen generally has a nice old knees-up two months after her actual birth date. This year, it's still uncertain as to how the Trooping of the Colour will look, but we hope that by that point Her Majesty will at least be able to meet with those outside of her own household more easily to mark the day.

So there you have it! The more you know, eh?

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