Monday, 11 June 2007

Happy Birthday, Queen.

Not Queen Victoria's, but I don't know of any sytatues of the current Queen. It's not Queen Elizabeth II's real birthday either (that's 21 April). And many argue that having the British monarch as our head of state is an anachronism as dated as the social mores of Queen Vicky's age. But noone is protesting about the long weekend holiday we get to enjoy today! And they don't even get a public holiday to blow out the candles in Britain, so we are very happy and grateful little colonials!

Why "celebrate" the Queen's anniversaire today? Well, I found this in a parliamentary speech:

"The concept of marking the King or Queen's birthday with a public holiday in Australia dates from 1788, when Governor Phillip declared a public holiday for convicts and settlers on the birthday of King George III on 4 June. Until 1936 the actual birthday of the reigning monarch was observed, but after the death of King George V it was decided to retain the day of his birthday, 3 June, or the nearest suitable day for the public holiday."

That may be so, but in Britain it's just a far nicer time of year to entertain the proles (and tourists) with a bit of colour and movement. In Britain, it is also celebrated in June, though not with a holiday. Her official website says:

"The Queen celebrates her actual birthday on 21 April. She also celebrates her official birthday on either the first or the second, and sometimes the third, Saturday in June. This year's official birthday will be celebrated on 17 June 2006.
The tradition of having an official birthday for the Sovereign was begun for practical reasons. Monarchs who had their birthdays in the winter months often encountered problems due to cold, wet weather spoiling parades and other outdoor celebrations.
King Edward VII, who was born on 9 November, was the first Sovereign to mark his official birthday on a separate day to his actual birthday throughout his reign, holding celebrations in either May or June.
Subsequent Monarchs had birthdays which fell at convenient times of the year, but the tradition was revived by The Queen's father, King George VI. He was born in mid-December, and so also 'moved' his birthday to June, when fine weather was more likely, and thus the tradition of the official birthday was established.
The Queen continues the tradition by celebrating her official birthday in June each year. Her Majesty usually spends her actual birthday privately at Windsor with friends and family whilst her official birthday is always marked in the same way with the Trooping of the Colour ceremony and a fly-past over Buckingham Palace."


  1. Here in Canada we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday on the Monday on or before May 24. It's a public holiday, some cities and towns will have fireworks and celebrations on the Monday.

    Great photo.

  2. I think that may be a hangover from the old Empire Day, now Commonwealth Day, northbay.

  3. Yes, we sang the little rhyme when little...

    [i]It's the 24th of May
    The Queen's Birthday,
    If we don't get a holiday,
    We'll all run away![/i]

    (Thanks for visiting my blog!)

    My PAD and
    Guelph Daily Photo

  4. Have a nice long weekend. Hope the storms and floods let up.
    We have so many birthday holidays in the U.S. and even Alabama. Last Monday was Jefferson Davis's birthday. He was the president of the Confederate States of America. It was a state holiday, meaning only state employees had the day off. The next thing will be Juneteenth, the day that is celebrated as the end of slavery. It isn't an official holiday, but there will be celebrations around here.

  5. No President's or Prime Minister's birthday holidays in Singapore. hehe..

  6. tres belle statue, et donc un joyeux anniversaire

    very beautiful statue, and thus a happy birthday

  7. It's a beautiful statue. Enjoy the holiday.
    Do visit MumbaiDailySnapshot and help me identify the flowers.

  8. Enjoy your extra day off. We already had one in May.
    And thanks for comment on rainbow shot.

  9. Happy birthday QE2.I helped her celebrate in 1985 at the Trooping of the Colour.

  10. Have a nice holiday.
    But I don't like institution like Queen. Monarchy is not democratic institution.
    I think that the power should be the closest to people as it's possible.
    Fortunately we don't have a Queen in Polnad so we don't have to pay stupid taxes for it. We just have to pay to our @%$@*^@% politics. And this is too much us well.

  11. Well then, Selamat Ulang Tahun, Ratu! That's Happy B'day, Queen in Bahasa Indonesia :)

  12. Here's wishing the Queen a Happy Birthday.

    Queen Elizabeth II was in Washington DC recently. I wonder what she thinks of GWB; probably not very much. Who could blame her!

  13. In Western Australia, we celebrate the Queen's birthday on the last weekend in September or first weekend in October - seems we're quite flexible!

    We had a public holiday last Monday for our Foundation Day, so I guess the powers that be think it'd be a little frivolous for us to have two long weekends in a row.

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed your day off :o)

  14. A nice photograph of a famous lady and the statue. I found the narrative quite interesting too.

    Baby raccoons. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
    Brookville Daily Photo

  15. Thanks for the history lesson ;-)
    I wasn't aware of the story!
    Maraï from Brisbane

  16. Very majestic photo, Sally!
    And you answered my question about how the Aussies feel about the Queen...

    So, should we start up a collection for a new hat for her Majesty? ;-)

  17. I think they usually install statues in somebody's honour when they die...

    So hopefully we'll wait some more until there is Lizzie's statue in Sydney:)

  18. A beautifully captured shot & it was nice to know about QE2's birthday, which I didn't know before, a bit unusual.
    Have a nice extra holiday!

  19. interesting story, Sally!
    I didn't know about it... but there's no monarchy in Australia, right?

  20. I tried getting an official birthday well away from December when everyone was too busy with Christmas to remember. Never worked so we don't bother with birthdays in our family much.

    I suspect her majesty is actually more loved in Australasia and Canada then she is in the UK

  21. The Queen's REAL birthday is my oldest daughter's birthday too! But she's only 3.

    I'll have to go to the Outback Steakhouse tonight and celebrate with a Fosters and play some Olivia Newton John.. then come home hand watch Nemo!

    (OK.. I probably won't... but that's the closest I can get to Australia)

  22. A globally valid observation! We might not appreciate the reason but no one minds an extra holiday. Even I might become a royalist. Well, maybe not, but close enough... :)

  23. all my questions answered and more! You are wonderful Sally.

    Have a good week!

  24. As a Brit, I also find the whole monarchy a bit outdated & have never celebrated either one of HM's birthdays. But you get a holiday out of it so it's good for something!