A Royal Celebration for the Commonwealth27 / Apr / 2017
In 2016, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her milestone 90th birthday, and now Australia is gearing up to celebrate her 91st birthday in true royal style. Born on April 21, 1926, Queen Elizabeth II spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked by gun salutes in central London: a 41 gun salute in Hyde park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park, and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London. The Commonwealth holds official birthday celebrations in June, with dates varying between countries. This tradition of holding an ‘official birthday’ dates back to 1748 when King George II decided his birthday, which was in November, would be too cold for his annual birthday parade. To combat the threat of miserable conditions, he chose to move his official birthday to June, combining it with the annual spring military parade, known as Trooping the Colour. The Queen has followed in his footsteps, which is why the Queen’s official birthday is recognised as a public holiday across the Commonwealth in June.
Australia Celebrates the Queen’s LifeAs the longest ruling Monarch in British history, it’s not surprising Australians, and people from across the globe look at her with adoration and respect. Since she rose to the thrown in 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI, she has seen the Commonwealth through many trials and tribulations, while still living a full personal life. As a mother, grandmother, and dedicated wife, she has successfully split her time between her family life and her duties as Queen. In Australia, the Queen’s Birthday is celebrated on the second Monday in June, except in Queensland and Western Australia. This year her official birthday will land on Monday June 12. The royal birthday has been celebrated in Australia since 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of King George III. Up until the death of King George V in 1936, Australians celebrated the actual royal birthday. After the succession of Queen Victoria II the date was changed to correlate with the Queen’s official birthday. The Queen’s Birthday will be celebrated with British flags and by attending sporting events, as Australians enjoy a three-day weekend to commemorate the 91st birthday of Queen Elizabeth II on June 12, 2017.
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