Queen Elizabeth II turns 96! How Queen's birthday is marked and why does she have two birthdays?

Updated: Apr 21, 2022, 06:14 PM(IST)

As per the Royal tradition since the 18th century, the monarch also has a second birthday - the official one. Read the interesting story behind it 

Queen turns 96

Wishes and greetings poured in as Queen Elizabeth II — the longest-ruling monarch in British history — turned 92 on April 21. From other leaders to ministers in the country to other members of the Royal Family sent their best wishes to the Queen. 

"An inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, it's particularly special to be celebrating in this Platinum Jubilee year," a message from the queen's grandson Prince William and his wife Kate said on Twitter. 

(Photograph:AFP)

She is at Sandringham

Queen, who has stepped back from most public duties this year over concerns about her health, will spend her birthday in Sandringham, Norfolk. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

New photo released to mark the birthday

A photo was released showing the queen, dressed in a long dark green coat, standing between two white ponies. 

On Twitter, The Royal Family wrote: "Ahead of The Queen’s 96th Birthday tomorrow, @windsorhorse have released a new photograph of Her Majesty. Taken last month in the grounds of Windsor Castle, The Queen is pictured with two of her fell ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale. Happy Birthday Your Majesty!" 

(Photograph:Reuters)

How her birthday is celebrated?

Elizabeth ascended the throne on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952. The monarch's birthday will be marked by a gun salute as rounds will be fired from the Tower of London and Hyde Park in the British capital.

A military band will also play "Happy Birthday". 

(Photograph:AFP)

Why does Queen have two birthdays?

As per the Royal tradition since the 18th century, the monarch also has a second birthday - the official one. It is typically celebrated in June. The one in June is celebrated with a grand parade by Buckingham Palace. 

The tradition was started by King George II in 1748 as he wanted to hold a public celebration in summer as his birthday used to fall in the wintry month of November. Reports have mentioned that he decided to throw a public event in the summer in the hopes of having better weather. 

The country's Army's website stated, "1st Battalion Irish Guards will Troop their Colour in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen on Thursday 2nd June 2022." 

"Taking part will be up to 1450 soldiers of the Household Division and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, along with up to 400 musicians from the Massed Bands. 200 soldiers from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards will line The Mall," the statement added. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Queen gets a Barbie

Barbie doll maker Mattel is releasing a limited edition Queen doll, which looks absolutely adorable. On Thursday, the US toymaker revealed that it was commemorating the monarch's 70 years on the throne with a Tribute Collection Barbie doll. 

The popular toy company has unveiled the portrait of the Barbie doll that is based on the Queen's look in a portrait released in 2012. The portrait was commissioned to mark her 60th year on the throne. 

The adorable doll is decked up in an ivory gown and blue riband adorned with miniature medallions and ribbons. The dolls are also wearing a tiara, which is based on Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara. It's the same tiara Elizabeth wore on her wedding day. 

(Photograph:AFP)

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