Today on bbc.com/news I found this article about the queen making her first public appearance since coronavirus:


The monarch spent her birthday on 21 April in lockdown with Prince Philip.

A number of annual events that mark the occasion had to be cancelled due to the pandemic - including Trooping the Colour, which celebrates the monarch's official birthday in June.

How is the Queen's "official birthday" in June if her birthday is on 21 April? What's an "official birthday"?

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    Not a downvoter, but one of the reasons for downvoting is not making any research about the topic.
    – Alexei
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 5:22
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    The "Queen Birthday" is a holiday not related to the actual birthday of the person. In some Commonwealth countries, like Australia, the Queen Birthday is even celebrated in different days, depending on the state: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen%27s_Official_Birthday. The relevant part: "The Queen's Official Birthday, or the King's Official Birthday, is the selected day in some Commonwealth realms on which the birthday of the monarch is officially celebrated in those countries. It does not necessarily correspond to the date of the monarch's actual birth." Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 5:25
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    The dutch had a similar arrangement: "Juliana's daughter, Beatrix, retained the celebration on 30 April after she ascended the throne in 1980, though her birthday was on 31 January" Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 16:50
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    TBF if you could have two birthdays a year, why wouldn't you ? Twice the cake!
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 1:04
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    @Alexei It should be noted that while people definitely do that, that they're in the wrong there. There shouldn't be anything in the FAQs along the lines of "ask only non-trivial questions that you can't answer by googling". Matter of fact the original idea of SO is exactly the opposite of that stance.
    – Voo
    Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


Official ceremonies (not the official birthday) are held in June to maximize the chance of having good weather. This is not something new for the UK's monarchy:

Official celebrations to mark the Sovereigns' birthday have often been held on a day other than the actual birthday, particularly when the actual birthday has not been in the summer. King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.

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    Ironically, this does sometimes backfire when the weather is too hot and some poor soldier or two faints...
    – eggyal
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 18:59
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    @eggyal well, this tradition started way before global warming has become so fashionable. Now even May might be too hot if unlucky enough.
    – Alexei
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 19:19
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    Thanks for the answer, and for the honest feedback (in comments) about why I might have been downvoted! While I did search SE network, I didn't actually search the overall web for what is apparently not so obscure an answer. Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 5:48

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