Here’s why Queen Elizabeth has two birthdays

The Queen marked turning 92 with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday evening. But that is only one of the two birthdays the Queen celebrates.

What is traditionally the bigger birthday is actually still to come. The monarch having two birthdays is a measure that was introduced 250 years ago, and it’s still going strong.

Below is all you need to know about why the Queen gets two days to mark her birthday every year instead of one.

The Queen was born at 2.40am on April 21 at her maternal grandfather’s London house. But she also has an official birthday in June – usually on the second Saturday. This year it falls on Saturday June 9.

The reason for this second birthday all comes down to the British weather. Since 1748, the monarch’s official birthday has been marked by the parade known as Trooping the Colour – usually held on the king or queen’s actual birthday. But Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, was born in November. Due to the harsh November weather, he celebrated officially in May or June because there was less chance of it being cold and drizzly during the outdoor event.

The monarch after Edward VII – George V – helpfully had a birthday in June, but the Queen’s father, George VI, whose birthday was in December, reintroduced the tradition of an official birthday, which Elizabeth II has continued.

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The monarch’s official birthday is always on a Saturday. In George VI time, he had his official birthday on the second Thursday of June. In 1959, after several years on the throne, the Queen changed it to the second Saturday for convenience.

It can now be on either the first or the second, and sometimes the third Saturday of the month and is marked by Trooping the Colour carriage and horse procession in central London and a fly-past over Buckingham Palace.

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