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Why does Queen Elizabeth have two birthdays?

The QueenIt is every boy and girl's dream to have two birthdays in one year; well, our Queen is very lucky because she has two birthdays, one in April and one in June.

When is the Queen's real birthday?

The Queen's actual birthday is on 21 April, she was born on 21 April 1926.

When does the Queen have her public and official birthday?

It has long been customary to celebrate the Sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day during the summer, when better weather is more likely.

How is The Queen's real birthday marked?

To mark the real birthday of The Queen, a 41 gun royal salute is fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park at 12:00 noon. There is also a 62-gun royal salute fired by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London at 1:00pm.

Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on shore and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome.

No particular ceremony is held on The Queen's true birthday, although the Union Flag is flown on public buildings.

How is The Queen's 'official' birthday marked?

Since 1805, the Sovereign’s 'official' summer birthday has been marked by the Trooping the Colour ceremony, which is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade, and is normally held on the second Saturday in June.

The list of Birthday Honours is also announced at the time of the UK Official Birthday celebrations.

The day is also marked by the flying of the Union flag on government buildings

When are other gun salutes fired?

Gun salutes occur on the following Royal anniversaries:

6 February (Accession Day)
21 April (The Queen's birthday)
2 June (Coronation Day)
10 June (The Duke of Edinburgh's birthday)
The Queen's official birthday (a Saturday in June)
14 November (The Prince of Wales's birthday)
The State Opening of Parliament (usually November or December).

Interesting Fact:
For the first seven years of Queen Elizabeth's reign, her birthday was celebrated officially on the second Thursday of June. But when midweek became inconvenient it was switched to Saturdays.

The Queens birthday is celebrated in other countries too:

Australians and New Zealanders mark the occasion in style by taking the day off work.

Most of Australia marks the official birthday on second Monday in June. Western Australia mark the official birthday on last Monday in September or first Monday in October.

In New Zealand, the first Monday in June is the Queen's official birthday.

Canadians celebrate Victoria Day

In Canada they have a statutory holiday on the third Monday of May that celebrates Queen Victoria. Canadians celebrate Victoria Day because she was the Monarch when Canada became an independent country in 1867.

However, these days the holiday does not have much to do with Britain or the royal family. For Canadians, it is the unofficial start to summer and is celebrated with outdoor activities such as camping, picnicking, opening cottages, and backyard barbeques with friends.

(With thanks to Susan Klimchuk, Ottawa, Canada, for providing the information about Canada.)

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