We all have that one friend who loves their birthday so much, they manage to extend it into a birth-week each year. As it turns out, Queen Elizabeth II is one of those friends. Kind of.
The queen has not one, but two birthday celebrations every year. The first is her real birthday (April 21) and the second is her “official birthday,” held each year in June. While the exact date varies, the celebration is held on a Saturday and coincides with the Trooping the Colour. You may have thought that 2016’s seemingly endless celebration was only in honor of her milestone 90th birthday, but she actually celebrates it more than once every year.
But why? The reason is kind of hilarious, and so British.
Best-selling royal author Robert Jobson, who has chronicled the royal family for 25 years, told The Huffington Post that the tradition goes way back to 1748, in the time of King George II. “George was born in November, and felt the weather would be too cold at that time of year for his annual birthday parade,” he said. “So instead, he combined his birthday celebration with an annual spring military parade known as Trooping the Colour, in which regiments displayed their flags or ‘colours’ so soldiers would be familiar with them.”