Queen birthday: When is the Queen’s official birthday this week?

Queen: Trooping the Colour cancelled for 2021

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The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year. Her actual birthday is a more private family affair but her official birthday is a public celebration. So when is her Majesty’s official birthday this week and why does she have two birthdays?

When is the Queen’s birthday?

The Queen celebrated her actual birthday on April 21.

Her actual birthday is a largely private affair but usually 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.

Her Majesty is the oldest monarch of Great Britain to date and she overtook her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, as the longest-reigning monarch in 2015.

This means it will be celebrated this Saturday, on June 12.

Why does the Queen have a second birthday?

A central feature of the Sovereigns’ birthday is the outdoor Birthday Parade also known as Trooping the Colour.

A second birthday is arranged to mark the date if a Sovereign’s actual birthday does not fall in the summer months.

This is to ensure that there is the greatest likelihood of good weather for the parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.

Like the Queen, King Edward VII was not was born in the summer, so whilst he celebrated his actual birthday on 9 November, his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June in the hopes that the weather would be good for his Birthday Parade.

What is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is a parade in central London full of pomp and ceremony featuring the Household Cavalry.

Around 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians usually take part in the parade.

They march from Buckingham Palace down The Mall towards Downing Street.

The Royal Family then follow in horse-drawn carriages or on horseback.

The parade finishes with the Queen and her family standing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, waving to the crowds below whilst the Red Arrows do a fly-past.

What will the Birthday Parade look like this year?

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the parade will be a scaled-back affair this year, though it won’t be as small as last year’s event.

In 2020 the Queen watched a hugely scaled back parade alone, no other family members or the public were allowed to attend.

Royal fans will be delighted to hear that the parade this Saturday will be a larger event, although it still won’t return to its pre-pandemic scale.

The parade will be much more private this year, it has been relocated to Windsor Castle’s quadrangle to stop crowds from forming.

Numbers will be limited sure to social distancing restrictions.

But the horses are back and several units of the Foot Guards from the Scots Guards, the Coldstream Guards, and the Grenadier Guards.

The parade is currently expected to include 270 soldiers and 70 horses.

The event will no doubt be a poignant event for her Majesty as the celebrations will take place just two days after what would have been her late husband’s Prince Philip’s 100th birthday.

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