Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday celebrations in the United Kingdom take place on the second Saturday of June each year to increase the probability of fine weather for all the traditional outdoor events that take place.
It was at the beginning of the twentieth century that Edward VII moved the official celebration of the monarch’s birthday to June for reasons of weather, and the practice has been maintained during the reigns of four monarchs since.
The main event in the UK is the elaborate Trooping the Colour ceremony in London performed by regiments of the British army between Buckingham Palace and the Horse Guards Parade at St James Park. Trooping the Colour has been central to the celebration of the monarch’s birthday since 1748. The Queen then leads her family in the observance of a Royal Airforce flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Many thousands of onlookers gather along The Mall and outside Buckingham Palace to observe the spectacle.
Outside the UK
Most Australian states and territories mark the Queen’s Birthday with a public holiday on the second Monday of June, thus creating a long weekend for winter holiday travel. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List is announced annually by the Governor-General on this day. The list “recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically.”
All of New Zealand celebrates the Queen’s Birthday with a public holiday on the first Monday of June. Similar to Australia, New Zealand also announces Queen’s Birthday Honours on this day.
The monarch’s birthday has been observed in Canada for more than 175 years, since the reign of Queen Victoria. Indeed, the public holiday used for celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday in Canada has continued to be called Victoria Day during the reigns of all subsequent monarchs since Queen Victoria’s passing in 1901. This holiday occurs on the last Monday before 25 May, a date aligned to Queen Victoria’s birth date of 24 May.