In Australia we celebrate the Queens’ Birthday every year on the second Monday of June. We celebrate her birthday by having a day off work, drinking alcohol, attending dance parties or some other festivity relating to what we think the Queen would be doing in celebrating her birthday! Well maybe I have stretched the truth a little, but that is really what does happen – it’s an official Public Holiday!
Australia is part of the Commonwealth which means that Queen Elizabeth II is our official Head of State. The only problem is that her birthday isn’t in June it is in April. In fact Her Majesty was born on April 21, 1926 and therefore she is already 83 years old.
Why then are we celebrating her birthday in June?
I have asked several people the answer to this anomaly and not one was able to tell me why the Queens’ Birthday holiday is not celebrated in April. So I decided to find out. It goes back to 1788 when the First Fleet arrived in Australia and Governor Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of King George III who was the reigning Monarch.
Until 1963 the Monarch’s Birthday was celebrated on the actual day it occurred, but after the death of King George V it was decided to keep the celebration at the midyear date. It just happened that King George V was born on June 3 1865 and so whether we are celebrating the Queens’ Birthday or the Kings’ Birthday (as it would be called if the Monarch was a male) it will on the first Monday of June each year. All in memory of King George V – that’s why we celebrate the Queens’ birthday on the wrong day.
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