Why does the Queen have two birthdays? Facts about Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 92nd birthday

Her 90th birthday celebrations seemed to last most of 2016, and after a quieter year last year, Queen Elizabeth II is ready to celebrate again.

To mark turning 92, she will attend a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in her honour.

With a line-up of every great grandmother’s dreams (or nightmares), she will be entertained by performers from Sir Tom Jones to Shaggy and Sting to Kylie Minogue, Craig David, Anne Marie and Shawn Mendes – plus the BBC Concert Orchestra. And it will all be shown live on BBC One.

But as you might have heard, the Queen actually celebrates two special days – and what is traditionally the bigger deal is actually still to come.

The monarch having two birthdays is a measure that was introduced 250 years ago, and it’s still going strong.

Here’s all you need to know about why the Queen gets two days to mark her birthday every year instead of one.

When are the Queen’s birthdays?

© Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited A beacon was lit on Torlum to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthdayThe Queen was born at 2.40am on April 21 at her maternal grandfather’s London house, 17 Bruton Street .

But she also has an official birthday in June – usually on the second Saturday. This year it falls on Saturday June 9.

Is this just a ploy to get extra presents?

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No. It is all down to the British weather. Since 1748, the monarch’s official birthday has been marked by the parade known as Trooping the Colour – usually held on the king or queen’s actual birthday.

But Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, was born in November. He celebrated officially in May or June because there was less chance of it being cold and drizzly during the outdoor event.

The monarch after Edward VII – George V – helpfully had a birthday in June, but the Queen’s father, George VI, whose birthday was in December, reintroduced the tradition of an official birthday, which Elizabeth II has continued.

Is her official birthday always on a Saturday?

© Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Queen Elizabeth II greeting wellwishers during a ‘walkabout’ on her 90th birthday in WindsorIt is now. George VI had his official birthday on the second Thursday of June. In 1959, after several years on the throne, the Queen changed it to the second Saturday for convenience.

It can now be on either the first or the second, and sometimes the third Saturday of the month and is marked by Trooping the Colour carriage and horse procession in central London and a fly-past over Buckingham Palace.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List is also announced, the Union flag flown from Government buildings and gun salutes at noon.

What does she usually do on her actual birthday?

© Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip at a 90th Birthday show at Windsor CastleShe usually spends it privately – except when duty beckons or it is a milestone celebration.

On her 90th, she carried out a birthday walkabout in Windsor and in the evening lit a beacon before joining her family for a lavish black-tie dinner in Windsor Castle.

Aides do try to give the Queen a break on her birthday from the famous red boxes containing state papers.

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And on her official birthday?

It is a busy affair with the Trooping the Colour ceremony, which ends with key royals appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Who else has two birthdays?

© Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Paddington Bear is a big fan of marmalade and having two birthdays

Paddington, the marmalade-loving bear from deepest, darkest Peru – on June 25 and December 25. His adopted family the Browns agreed that bears “just like the Queen” have two birthdays every year.

SOURCE: Mirror.co.uk

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