Why does the Queen have two birthdays each year?

By Stephanie Nuzzo April 21, 2017

And we just thought it was for consistency’s sake…

Queen Elizabeth II has today turned 91 years of age – incredible, right? The monarch is set to celebrate the occasion on Friday 21st April (local time) with a quiet event, then once again in June, when the public holiday falls. 

Sounds pretty strange, right? Why on earth does anyone need two birthdays? Well, we did some digging and as it turns out, the reason for the dual celebrations is the English weather. 

According to reports from The Sun, the tradition was created by King George II in 1748. The King’s birthday was in November and he believed it was too cold to hold a procession, so decided to celebrate his birthday in spring instead (just casually). 

The custom has been passed on from generation to generation and while the “official” birthday of the Queen or King changes from year to year, (at the convenience of the monarch) it generally falls on a Saturday in June and is marked with the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony. 

This year the Queen’s birthday will be on Saturday, June 17th. She is set to attend the celebration with the rest of the Royal Family and will make her customary appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. 

For her actual birthday, however, we have no clue how she will be celebrating. We imagine she’ll be kicking back with her corgis, Prince Philip and a cuppa in hand - pinky firmly in the air. 


Seeing as we have The Queen’s bday on the brain, we thought it would be fun to take a peek through at some key photos of her life and reign over the years. Check them out here:

Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, 1947: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on their wedding day, 1947: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day, 1953: PA/AP

Elizabeth and Philip with their children Charles and Anne: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II, 1970: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Lady Diana, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II: Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

Wedding of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 2011: Hugo Burnand/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 2016: Annie Leibovitz/AFP/Getty Images

Happy birthday ma'am! 

Images: Matt Short / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images, Samir Hussein/WireImage