The longest-reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, turned 94 years old on 21 April. The British monarch’s birthdays have been a source of celebration for Australians since 1788, not simply because they are our country’s Head of State, but because we get a public holiday in their honour.
There are two interesting facts about Australians celebrating a monarch’s birthday — no state or territory actually celebrate it on their day of birth anymore, and it is not a public holiday in the UK.
So, well done to Australia for getting another public holiday past the keeper.
- From the archives: The Crown: 60 Second Movie Review
At the time of the First Fleet, Governor Arthur Phillip declared King George III’s birthday a public holiday, with the date changing for each reigning monarch until the death of Elizabeth II’s grandfather, King George V in 1936.
The Queen’s Birthday public holiday is this Monday 8 June for NSW, and all states and territories excluding Queensland (5 October), Western Australia (28 September), Norfolk Island (15 June) and Christmas Island (not celebrated).
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The Royal website states the “Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on (usually) the second Saturday in June”.
“Official celebrations to mark the Sovereigns’ birthday have often been held on a day other than the actual birthday, particularly when the actual birthday has not been in the summer,” royal.uk said.
“King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.”
In the UK, the official June date appears to come down to the hope of a sunny day, however, for Australia, while we also predominantly take a June date (set for the second Monday of June in NSW), the celebration has remained around King George V’s June 3 birth date. Being the start of winter, June is certainly not a sunny affair for us but, nonetheless, a day to be grateful for spending a long weekend with family and friends where possible.
“The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London,” royal.uk said.
67th Anniversary of the Coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II
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Today marks the 67th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty was the thirty-ninth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the setting for every Coronation since 1066. Whilst an occasion for celebration, The Queen’s Coronation was a solemn, religious ceremony that lasted almost three hours. The service has remained essentially the same for over 1,000 years. Take a look at our story to see what happened on Coronation Day! 📷 © Cecil Beaton
“Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty was the thirty-ninth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the setting for every Coronation since 1066,” theroyalfamily Instagram said.
“Whilst an occasion for celebration, The Queen’s Coronation was a solemn, religious ceremony that lasted almost three hours. The service has remained essentially the same for over 1,000 years.”
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