People and Places
The Queen celebrates twice By Liz Rogers

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When my kids were little, birthday celebrations could go on for a week. Visits with the grandparents, parties with their mates. But we’ve never celebrated anyone’s birthday twice a year. Once on the actual date and then again a couple of months later. 

We celebrate Queen’s Birthday on the second Monday in June each year, but The Queen’s birth date — April 21, 1926 — is observed privately with family. Most of us associate the milestone with a long-weekend reprieve from the working week and the beginning of the snow season, but we thought you’d like to know a bit more about why there’s a double act.

The Queen has just turned 92 and is the longest-serving monarch. She became queen in 1952 and has celebrated two birthdays each year over the many years she has reigned. Why? Because of tradition. A tradition that began with King George II in 1748. His birthday was in November, a time when the weather was turning towards long days of overcast skies, snowy squalls and endless drizzle in the UK. This kind of weather wasn’t suitable for the public to celebrate his birthday, according to him, so he decided to publicly celebrate the occasion during the Trooping the Colour ceremony, which is held in June each year. Hence the double observance.  

Whether you’re heading up to the snow or taking it easy by the seaside with family and friends in Victoria on June 10, a public holiday is the best excuse to celebrate anyone’s birthday. Sixty-seven years is a long time to dedicate yourself to your people, so why not raise a glass to a woman with staying power and give thanks for the annual break. Schools and select organisations and post offices will be closed. Western Australians celebrate the event on Monday, September 30, and Queenslanders will be toasting Her Majesty on Monday, October 7.

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