Among the many perks of being British sovereigns here comes another one. Queen Elizabeth II has two birthdays – actual and official. The longest reign-ing British monarch celebrates her birthday twice a year once on the anniversary she was born, April 21, and the other an official on the second Saturday of June. The official birthday is celebrated with a spring military parade known as Trooping the Colour in London. Her actual birthday is a private affair although celebrated with gun salutes – 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. Following which queen and her royal family appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Why the tradition?
It is believed that the tradition emerged in 1748 during the reign of King George II. He was born in October but due to the unreliable British weather the royal family used to hold the grand royal birthday parade in summer. He further combined his birthday celebration with the annual spring military parade ‘Trooping the colour’. Thus began the tradition. All the British sovereigns are given the option of choosing the option of having an official birthday. As queen’s birthday is in April she continued with the tradition.