The Queen was born on 21st April 1926 and as the first born of The Duke and Duchess of York. She was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary at the chapel at Buckingham Palace. After the death of her father Princess Elizabeth became the Queen at age of 25.
The Queen celebrates her actual birthday on 21st April and the official birthday in June. In the past too, sovereign birthdays have often been celebrated apart from the actual birthday in the summer months. The birthdays are celebrated in May or June when the weather is good to have the parade called, Trooping the Colour. The other months become unsuitable for outdoor events in London.
Trooping the Colour is performed by completely trained and functioning troops from the Household Division. It is watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public.
During this parade the Queen inspects the troops and is greeted by a royal salute. Post massed bands’ musical troop, the accompanied Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks. Guns are fired in Green Park with other Royal family members and the Queen watching the RAF flypast.
The history of Trooping the Colour is, it was restored in 1820 by King George IV. It earlier existed in various other forms. The main attributes of the parade have not changed much. Every year it is held in London (except during world wars and national strike in 1955).
In the royal family, the monarchs were given a second birthday if they were born in the winter months. Though the Queen’s birthday is in April, traditionally it is celebrated in June.
The exact date of celebrations is different from country to country. In the year 2013 it would be celebrated on 3rd June.
Many countries celebrate Queen’s Birthday, Australia, Fiji, Canada, New Zealand and other countries.
In United Kingdom it is celebrated since 1748. Edward VII who was the King from 1901 to 1910 celebrated his actual birthday on 9th November but after 1908 he shifted it to summer for good weather.
On the Queen’s birthday, the list of birthday Honours is declared. This day is not in particular a public holiday in UK, but being a non working day some of the civil servants are given a privilege day. It is also combined with the spring bank holiday, which falls on the last Monday of May to give a long weekend. Many countries like Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands celebrate the Queen’s birthday on second Monday of June in place of the first Saturday of June.
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