Why does Queen have two birthdays in a year? Celebrations to be muted in wake of Prince Philip's death

Following the funeral, it has been reported that the birthday celebrations this year will be more private and intimate with only some of her family members expected to join in


                            Why does Queen have two birthdays in a year? Celebrations to be muted in wake of Prince Philip's death
Queen Elizabeth II turned 95 on April 21 (Getty Images)

Buckingham Palace released a smiling photo of the Queen as she celebrates her 95th birthday - one of her two birthdays. This year, the Queen will remain at Windsor Castle on her birthday as the royal family is still mourning the death of Prince Philip. 

Following the funeral, it has been reported that the birthday celebrations this year will be more private and intimate with only some of her family members expected to join in. So why does the Queen have two birthdays? 

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The photograph that was shared on Twitter is actually outdated and was taken last year in February 2020. No official image taken on her birthday is expected to be released as the day falls within the two weeks of royal mourning in the wake of Philip's death. 

(L-R) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh stand on the balcony during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Getty Images)

The Queen, the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, was born on April 21, 1926. Usually, when the UK is marking the anniversary of this occasion, it involves a series of gun salutes around London: 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. Additionally, for the birthday of a senior royal, the bells at Westminster Abbey are also sent ringing, but that is also essentially cancelled due to the mourning period and Covid-19 restrictions.

Like many British monarchs, the Queen also has two birthdays. The first one is the day she was actually born, that is April 21, and the other is a separate day that is actually deemed her official birthday. 

The second birthday in June 

Now, why would there be a need for the Queen to have two birthdays? One in April and the other usually on the second Saturday in June? 

Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Getty Images)

It is no secret that Britain's weather is actually very unpredictable. On top of that, April 21 is usually too cold for a proper birthday parade, which is called Trooping the Color. What better time for a parade than the summer?

Princess Elizabeth riding a horse wearing the uniform of the Grenadier Guards at the Trooping the Colour Ceremony, at Buckingham Palace, London, 1947. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The tradition started in 1748, with King George II, who was born somewhere in between cold, chilly October-November. By this time, the parade had been part of British culture for almost a century. And so, he combined the annual summer military march with his birthday celebration. And so, ever since then, the reigning monarch has the option of having two birthdays. 

What happens in June?

The British Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour King's Birthday Ceremony, (L-R) Duchess of Kent, Queen Mary, the Queen Mother with Prince Charles, Duchess of Gloucester, King Haakon of Norway and Princess Margaret, London, June 7th 1951. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

During the Trooping the Color, the Queen typically parades through London as part of a grand birthday celebration. It has been reported that at first, this was strictly a military event till George II changed it all. 

The event is a large celebration that is marked by crowds of people. However, given the Covid situation last year and the additional mourning period for Prince Philip this year, this year's event will not have the usual pomp and glory. 

For the longest time, it was being believed that Prince Harry would stay back for the Queen's 95th birthday, But latest reports reveal that he returned to California to reunite with his pregnant wife Meghan soon after the funeral.

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