Why Queen Elizabeth Celebrates Her Birthday Twice a Year

Just about everyone looks forward to their annual birthday celebration. It is a day that is truly theirs, and there are even some people who get showered with gifts to mark the occasion. At the very least, most people have a cake, and friends and family gather together to wish them the best. This is what it is like for the typical person.

For Queen Elizabeth, birthday celebrations are much more extravagant. Thousands of people send their well-wishes, and there is no doubt a party that is beyond spectacular. In the case of the queen, she gets not only one, but two celebrations each year. The royal family comes together on April 21, the day that her majesty was born, and again in June.

This may seem a bit excessive, but there is actually a very good reason behind it. So, why is it that Queen Elizabeth celebrates her birthday two times every year?

Queen Elizabeth’s real birthday is April 21

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Two celebrations may confuse people a bit and have royal fans wondering when the queen‘s actual birthday is. April 21, 1926, is the day that she was born, according to Town & Country. As was royal tradition, it was a home birth, taking place at the home of Earl and Countess of Strathmore, the queen’s grandparents, at 17 Bruton Street in London.

As the first child of George IV and Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, also known as the Queen Mother, she was third in line for the British throne upon her birth. Known as Princess Elizabeth until her coronation in 1952, it is pretty safe to say that her majesty has had quite an extraordinary life.

The June celebration

As would be expected, the royal family does not let April 21 go by without a celebration. Just two months later, everyone is again honoring the queen. The second Saturday of the month of June is a public celebration for the queen’s birthday, this time with countless amounts of people sharing in the fun. Known more commonly as Trooping the Colour, it is definitely an event that is not to be missed – with the BBC reporting that the ceremony is performed by 1400 soldiers, 400 musicians, and 200 horses.

The royal family holds a parade, with the queen leaving Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn carriage as fans cheer her on. She rides down the Mall, and afterward, the members of the royal family make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham.

Why is the celebration called ‘Trooping the Colour’?

So, why is the event called ‘Trooping the Colour’? Well, according to Mirror, the queen is the head of the military, and the regiment’s flags were known as colors or “colours.”

The colours were used to tell regiments apart, and flags were displayed in order to determine which colour belonged to each side. Soldiers would wave their flag, displaying the colour, which is where the term ‘Trooping the Colour‘ comes from.

Why does Queen Elizabeth have two celebrations?

The fact that Trooping the Colour is held in June when the Queen was actually born in April is confusing to some. Why doesn’t she have all of the celebrations on one day? The answer is more simple than most people would think. According to Mental Floss, it is simply because April 21 is too cold to hold a major outdoor celebration.

Many British monarchs before Queen Elizabeth have done the same thing – if they were born during the chillier months of the year, the official birthday celebration was held on the second Saturday in June, so that members of the public would be more comfortable at the parade.

How considerate of Queen Elizabeth to make sure everyone enjoys her birthday festivities in the warm weather, and how lucky she is to get two celebrations.