Saturday, 11 June 2011

Today is the Queen's official birthday

In the United Kingdom, the Queen's Official Birthday is now celebrated on the first, second, or third Saturday in June, although it is rarely the third. It is marked in London by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour, which is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade.

The Queen's Official Birthday does not coincide with when she was born. Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, and whose birthday was on 9 November, in autumn, moved the ceremony to summer in the hope of good weather. The Queen celebrates her actual birthday on 21 April.

The list of Birthday Honours is also announced at the time of the UK Official Birthday celebrations. In British diplomatic missions the day is treated as the National Day of the United Kingdom. Although it is not celebrated as a specific public holiday in the UK (as it is not a working day), civil servants are given a "privilege day" at this time of year, which is often merged with the Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May) to create a long weekend, which was partly created to celebrate the monarch's birthday.