Why does the Queen have two birthdays? And when does she celebrate them?

9 May 2022, 13:11

The Queen celebrates two birthdays a year as part of royal tradition
The Queen celebrates two birthdays a year as part of royal tradition. Picture: Royal family/Alamy

By Zoe Adams

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 96th birthday in April 2022 - but why does she have two birthdays each year? Here's the facts behind her celebrations.

The Queen turned 96 on April 21st, and marked the occasion with a new photo of her with her two white horses.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her birthday with two events - one on her actual birthday, and another in the summer.

Her summer birthday is usually completed with a royal parade by Buckingham Palace.

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Related article: When is the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend?

So why does the Queen celebrate two birthdays? And when is her actual birthday and summer one? Here are the details:

Queen Elizabeth II's has her actual birthday in April and her summer one in June
Queen Elizabeth II has her actual birthday in April and her summer one in June. Picture: Alamy

How many birthdays does the Queen have and when are they?

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates two birthdays a year - her actual birthday on April 21st and her "official" birthday which traditionally takes place on the second Saturday in June.

However, for 2022, the Queen will be celebrating her second birthday on June 2 to coincide with her Platinum Jubilee weekend.

She was born on April 21st 1926 via Caesarean section in Mayfair.

Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

The head of the royal family celebrating two birthdays is a tradition that dates back to 1748 when King George II was the monarch.

As his real birthday fell in the autumn, he created a summer birthday where the weather was far more appropriate for large celebrations.

As a result, the Queen now celebrates her summer birthday along with the Trooping of the Colour Parade.

How does the Queen celebrate her birthday?

As stated on the royal family's official website, the Queen usually celebrates her birthday privately and with family.

The occasion is also normally marked with a series of gun salutes in Hyde Park, Windsor Great Park and the Tower of London. This event has been cancelled for the previous two years due to the coronavirus lockdown.